Salem trial begins in fatal hunting mistake

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SALEM — Trial began Tuesday in Salem in the manslaughter trial of a hunter who killed a man mistaken for a bear near Silver Falls State Park.

In opening statements, the deputy district attorney 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. The Statesman Journal reports he was on leave with a friend visiting Salem. The two men were trespassing on land owned by the Collier family.

Jurors will decide whether the shooting was reckless.

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