SALEM, Ore. (February 24, 2013)—Eugene Collier, 68, has been found not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Marine reservist from California he says he mistook for a bear.
A jury in Salem, Ore., deliberated for about two hours Friday before acquitting Collier, who was the last witness to take the stand.
He told jurors he was shooting to kill when he fired the .270-caliber bullet that killed Christopher Ochoa, 20, of French Camp, Calif., in October 2011 near Silver Falls State Park.
Collier was hunting with his 12-year-old grandson and says he thought he was shooting a bear
He and his wife met with members of Ochoa's family privately after the trial ended.
Neither family spoke with the media after the verdict.