Luke Wirkkala was sexually assaulted when passed out by one David Ryder, who called himself “Twobadfish” on the Internet and declared, “Dear Random Stranger: I’m going to f… your friend when he passes out.” The Deschutes County, Oregon, judge, Judge Forte, disbarred this evidence. A policeman from Kentucky traveled to the city of Bend, Oregon, to testify that it took 3 cops to subdue David Ryder, who had broken his girlfriend’s nose. This evidence was also disbarred, a disturbing and unintelligible decision on the part of Judge Forte.
When Luke awoke to the thrusting, Ryder began to choke him. Luke, a black belt in judo, escaped Ryder’s grip and retrieved his shotgun from the bedroom where his girlfriend was sleeping. He then faced Ryder, pumping a shell to the floor and ordered him out. Ryder, standing near a doorway, instead rushed him. Luke fired at the last split second, the discharge upwards beneath the chin.
Cops got a bad impression of Luke, who wanted his shoes. They did what Gladwell describes in “Talking to Strangers”, they accused straight heterosexual Luke of being secretly gay and having consensual sex. The scratches on his neck they attributed to rough foreplay or self-infliction. Luke, known to all as incapable of lying, and magna cum laude in a class of thousands, was besmirched, character-assassinated, denied bail, chained at the ankles in full view of the jury, and called a ‘story-teller’, i.e. liar, because he is also a writer. Ryder was portrayed as a big teddy-bear when he was, in reality, a bi-sexual man self-described as “I’m not gay, I’m dominant” who was kicked out of the Navy for his alcohol-fueled fight-picking and his ‘humping’ aggressiveness. We have found Navy fellow sailors who attest to Ryder’s violence; also, co-workers who attest to the humping and other non-consensual behavior.
Luke was sentenced to 25 without parole to life in prison with a runaway jury. Luke was badly out-lawyered. The D.A., up for re-election, wanted a ‘tough on crime’ story, evidently.
On appeal, the case was vacated and remanded back to Deschutes County on appeal. Again, Luke, though now in a state of innocence-until-proven-guilty, was again denied bail. That was several years ago.
Prosecutors, evidently aware of this miscarriage of justice, have made repeated offers to Luke. The sequence of offers is tell-tale. Beginning with his stint in prison, and now in the dismal jail (underwear laundered every four days – ‘turn ’em inside out’, they say)…they have offered him in exchange for signing a Manslaughter plea: 20 years / 15 years / 12 years / 10 years/ 9 years and now around 8 years and so forth. Luke refuses to sign because he acted in self-defense.
A week or so ago the current Bend, Oregon prosecutor, John Hummel (a man who exercises forbearance in other cases, but not in this case, which he ‘inherited’) phoned Luke’s public defender, Joel Wirtz, and said that they were possibly going to turn the case over to the Department of Justice (or some such) and apparently a panel will review the case.
Something startling here: Judge Forte denied bail a month or two ago, but a couple of weeks later the Presiding Judge, Wells Ashby, offered to release Luke for a few months if he would only sign the manslaughter document. He said he knew Luke was not a flight risk, and claimed that in Luke’s self-defensive action there were “elements of murder”. Very fishy: one who acts in self-defense is not a murderer.
D.A. Hummel recently publicly attested to the value of lie detector tests. Luke passed his polygraph with flying colors YEARS ago.
The new trial is scheduled for Oct. 26 (jury selection) of this year, though it’s been postponed on numerous occasions. The former prosecutors have removed themselves from the case and are basically passing the buck. What they have done in keeping Luke confined is a form of pressure. Not waterboarding, but a form of torment with deliberate intent to break his will.
Luke Wirkkala is not only innocent, but is also a noble soul who made a stupid mistake: he and his girlfriend invited a predator into their home after the Superbowl tavern closed. Rachel had gone to bed. Two children in another room. Luke drank too much and passed out. Twobadfish did his schtick on Luke, injuring his – well, you know – incurring an injury by trying to get his – you know – past Luke’s teeth.
The sperm at the scene was Ryder’s. The skin under Ryder’s fingernails was Luke’s.
Give D.A. Hummel a call and let him know his moral duty is to drop the charges and publicly apologize to Luke Anton Wirkkala.
Bend, Oregon District Attorney Office:
Victims’ Assistance: 541-388-6525 (because Luke IS the victim)
Mailing Address:1164 NW Bond St. Bend, OR 97703
Luke encourages you to write to the prosecutors assigned to his retrial. Please be respectful. You may have personal stories that talk to Luke’s good character.
Department of Justice Prosecutors for Luke’s retrial are: