Murder trial motions

Wirkkala motions focus on alcohol levels, Miranda rights

By Sheila G. Miller / The Bulletin

More than 11 hours after he allegedly shot and killed his houseguest, Luke Wirkkala’s blood-alcohol level was .08 percent, according to an attorney affidavit filed in September.

Several motions filed in the case provide new details on the events surrounding the Feb. 4 death of 31-year-old David Ryder. Wirkkala, who has been held at the Deschutes County jail since his arrest the day of Ryder’s death, is due to go to trial in January.

Police were called to 20753 Will Scarlet Lane in southeast Bend around 2:30 a.m. Feb. 4, where they found Ryder dead of a gunshot wound. Wirkkala allegedly fired one round from a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun into Ryder, who was married with a 2-year-old son and worked as a software engineer at G5 Search Marketing in Bend. Wirkkala, 33, pleaded not guilty in June to one count of murder.

According to a motion filed by Wirkkala’s attorneys in September, Wirkkala was not “validly advised” of his Miranda rights before he was interrogated and denied his right to counsel. The motion asks that all statements made by Wirkkala to law enforcement be suppressed, and also asks for suppression of any other evidence that might have been obtained because of illegal search and seizure, which occurred because his Miranda rights were not adequate, attorney Walter Todd said.

In an affidavit filed in support of the motion to suppress Wirkkala’s statements, Todd states Wirkkala was detained for hours by authorities, and during questioning said, “I appreciate the hospitality here fellas, but I think I’m gonna need a lawyer.”

“(Wirkkala) did not initiate further communication with the police after requesting an attorney,” the motion states.

In another affidavit, Todd states a blood sample drawn from Wirkkala was .08 percent alcohol at 2:25 p.m. on Feb. 4, nearly 12 hours after police were called to Wirkkala’s residence. Prosecutors apparently plan, according to Todd, to introduce scientific evidence of retrograde extrapolation, which is a math equation in which an expert determines absorption rates, elimination rates and other factors to determine what a person’s blood-alcohol content might have been hours before.

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28 to discuss all motions currently pending in court.

A search warrant executed in the wake of Ryder’s death remains sealed.