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Prineville killer, 79, dies in state prison

A 79-year-old Prineville man convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of his roommate nearly a decade ago died Sunday morning at a state prison in northeast Oregon, the state Department of Corrections reported.

Richard Lynn Breneman, an inmate at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, entered state custody on July 29, 2011, with an earliest release date of August 25, 2020 , the agency said.

As with all in-custody deaths, Oregon State Police were notified, and the state medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

In 2011, a Crook County jury convicted the then-71-year-old Breneman of manslaughter but acquitted him on a murder charge in the November 2009 death of Voy Douglas Powell 54. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison, minus the 21 months he’d already served.

Officials said blood alcohol tests showed both men were intoxicated at the time of the shooting, which occurred during an argument inside their mobile home at the Easy Living Trailer Park.

Breneman’s attorneys argued he was far too drunk to be charged with an intentional act when he killed his roommate. A jury agreed, but found it was still a reckless act, leading to the manslaughter conviction.

KTVZ 2019

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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