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Wirkkala trial: Defense questions victim’s sexuality


Week one in a Bend man’s murder trial wrapped up Friday with defense attorneys zeroing in on the victim’s sexuality

Luke Wirkkala, 33, is standing trial after he shot and killed his house guest, 31-year-old David Ryder, after a night of Super Bowl partying in February 2013.

Court documents reveal both men had been drinking that night and had engaged in sexual contact.

Earlier, in the trial’s opening arguments, Wirkkala’s lawyers claimed Wirkkala was attacked and sexually assaulted by Ryder before he shot him in self-defense.

Friday afternoon, Ryder’s 23-year-old old widow, DeAnna Garrett, took the witness stand to speak about Ryder’s life, personality and job. However, questions from both prosecutors and defense quickly turned to his sexuality.

Earlier this week, Wirkkala’s defense called Ryder an “aggressive bisexual.”

Garrett said Friday that she had in her marriage previously questioned Ryder’s sexuality, but he had told her he was interested in women.

She did, however, reveal that her husband had been involved with men before.

“He had had experiences that would have been falling into the category as homosexual,” Garrett testified.

Garrett also admitted to defense attorneys that her husband had once responded to a craigslist ad for a massage from a man.

Garrett testified that Ryder was known to be intoxicated several times a week, but was not known to be physically aggressive when drinking.

The prosecution told NewsChannel 21 that it hopes to finish interviewing witnesses by Tuesday morning. Then, the defense will call its witnesses.

Wirkkala is expected to testify in his own defense and should know his fate by the end of next week.

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