Murder trial motions
| Wirkkala motions focus on alcohol levels, Miranda rights
Murder trial motions
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.
Get daily headlines to your inbox
Start your day with our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.
The reality: That is not true, said Dr. Richard Koller, a Bend neurologist. A sneeze does increase the pressure inside the skull a little bit, he said. People have worried that sneezes may kill brain cells because other things that increase pressure on the brain, such as some types of stroke, can lead to brain cell death or even the death of the person. However,…
You may not know what Mexican states Jalisco is bounded by (Zacatecas and Michoacan are but two), its capital (Guadalajara), or that it's bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west. But if you've enjoyed arroz con pollo, huevos rancheros, tacos or a shrimp burrito in Bend during the last decade, chances are good that you know what Jalisco tastes like. The Anaya family -…
Some people are crafty. Hand them a stack of pine boughs, they'll give you back a wreath. Give them some yarn and a few knitting needles, and they'll make a holiday sweater. The rest of us are not so lucky. Or maybe we are in luck this time of year, because bazaar season is right around the corner. Take a stroll through one of these…
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…