Wirkkala trial continues with testimony from former girlfriend

Testimony continued Friday in the retrial of a Bend man accused of killing his friend in 2013.

The defense claims Luke Wirkkala shot David Ryder in self-defense after Ryder sexually assaulted him during a night of heavy drinking.

Wirkkala admits he shot Ryder in the neck with a 12-gauge shotgun after a Super Bowl party.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 2014, but four years later the conviction was overturned.

An appeals court found officers continued to question Wirkkala despite his request for a lawyer and then pursued evidence uncovered during that interview.

In the first trial, prosecutors said the interaction was consensual.

Friday, Wirkkala’s attorney’s questioned his former live-in girlfriend, Rachel Rasmussen, regarding any discussions about anopen relationship.

“We were, you know, very close and very honest with each other,” she said. “Just, you know, that – he did not seem interested in any of that.”

Rasmussen’s son, who was in the home asleep at the time of the murder, also took the stand on Friday during the trail the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

The trial continues Tuesday and is expected to last about four weeks.



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