BEND, OR -- Luke Anton Wirkkala's 2014 murder conviction was recently overturned, but the District Attorney is preparing to re-try the Bend man. Wirkkala admits he shot David Ryder in February 2013, claiming he pulled the trigger in self defense when Ryder sexually assaulted him.
During the June 2014 trial, Wirkkala admitted the two men attended a Super Bowl party at his southeast Bend home. There was an altercation and Wirkkala shot Ryder in the neck at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun. Deschutes County D. A. John Hummel says much of the case is already proven; the only thing left to determine is motive, "They both were drinking heavily, there was a dispute. Luke Wirkkala shot the victim; killed him. That's not in dispute, everyone agrees to that. Wirkkala claims he was acting in self defense, while we disagree with him - the state disagrees with him." Hummel wasn't involved in the original trial, but he agrees with the state's position, "Wirkkala, at the first trial, claimed that he was sexually assaulted. And the state, we didn't agree with that assertion. We said it was consensual."
The appeal was granted because after Wirkkala's arrest, officers allegedly continued to question the suspect, despite his request for a lawyer, and then pursued evidence uncovered during that interview.