Re-posted from Bend, Oregon’s newspaper, The Bulletin:
Wirkkala’s attorneys try again to bring evidence victim was aggressive
Luke Wirkkala, convicted in 2014, is back for retrial following appeal
Lawyers for accused murderer Luke Anton Wirkkala, who is back in Deschutes County to be retried following a successful appeal of his 2014 conviction, hope to show jurors the alleged victim was sexually aggressive toward passed-out males.
Evidence of “prior bad acts” by the victim, David Ryder, was excluded from Wirkkala’s first jury trial, but his lawyers are trying again with his second trial, which has been delayed several times and is now scheduled for August.
“Since 2014, there has been a plethora of new Oregon appellate cases that upend this court’s prior rulings regarding the exclusion of Mr. Ryder’s past behavior,” defense attorney Joel Wirtz wrote in a recent court filing. “A full and fair trial requires that this evidence be presented to the jury.”
Specifically, the defense hopes to show jurors that Ryder had a reputation as an aggressive drunk who was kicked out of the Navy for drinking.
Coworkers reportedly claimed Ryder was “hyper-sexual” and “pushed guy’s buttons” when he was drunk. One employee said Ryder would “dry hump” male coworkers without their consent.
According to filings by the defense, he maintained a profile on the website IMGUR:
“I used to get in a lot of fights from the ages of 17-26,” Ryder reportedly wrote. “Like … probably more than 20. I was dubbed ‘one hit wonder’ when I was in the Navy. It seemed like I couldn’t go on liberty without coming back with broken fingers, nose, black eye…lol good times.”
Read the full article on Bend, Oregon’s The Bulletin, here, and subscribe to freelukewirkkala.com.
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