Date: 02/20/2013 09:32 AM
Here is the latest Oregon news from The Associated Press
ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) – A hearing today in St. Helens may determine whether Daniel Butts is mentally able to assist in his defense at a murder trial in the shooting death of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter. Lawyers for the 23-year-old Kalama, Wash., man say he doesn’t communicate and can’t help them. But Columbia County prosecutors disagree and say the case should go to trial. Butts could face the death penalty if convicted. Painter was shot to death in 2011 while responding to a disturbance call in a stereo shop.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The manslaughter trial of a hunter who killed a man mistaken for a bear near Silver Falls State Park is under way in Salem. In opening arguments, the prosecution said Christopher Ochoa was crossing a field with a friend, taking what they thought was a short cut to the park in October 2011 when he was shot. The defense lawyer for 68-year-old Eugene Irvin Collier said he was hunting with his 12-year-old grandson and believed he saw a bear. Ochoa was a 20-year-old Marine from French Camp, Calif.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow prison staff to keep personal guns in their vehicles while they’re at work. Current state rules prohibit firearms in any vehicles on prison property. Republican Rep. Greg Smith and the corrections officers union will hold a news conference today to discuss the bill.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton will speak to the Oregon state Senate tomorrow. Eaton is expected to thank senators for their support of Oregon’s Olympic athletes and the track-and-field trials in Eugene. The state paid $550,000 to help the City of Eugene with security costs for the 2012 Olympic trials. Eaton graduated from Mountain View High School in Bend and went to the University of Oregon.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.