Bend man's murder sentencing postponed

Defense asked for delay; Luke Wirkkala to be sentenced Aug. 6th

Bend man found guilty of murder

BEND, Ore. - A Bend man convicted of murder by a jury last month now will be waiting until next month to be sentenced, as a result of a delay sought by his defense lawyers.

The jury reached its decision on Monday June 16th in the murder trial of Luke Wirkkala after about seven hours of deliberations that begun Friday afternoon.

Wirkkala was convicted of intentionally shooting and killing his house guest, 31-year-old David Ryder, after a night of Super Bowl partying in February 2013.

Wirkkala had claimed he shot Ryder in self-defense after he was attacked and sexually assaulted.

Wirkkala's family members were visibly upset after the announcement and told NewsChannel 21 the verdict was not what they had expected.

Ryder's family members, meanwhile, indicated they did not wish to comment at this time.

District Attorney Patrick Flaherty released a statement saying, in part: "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of David Ryder."

Wirkkala was due to receive his prison sentence on Monday, July 14th at 2 p.m. But Circuit Judge Stephen Forte agreed to a defense motion for a delay on July 3rd and it was set over to Wednesday, August 6th at 3 p.m.

After the verdict, Chief Deputy District Attorney Mary Anderson told NewsChannel 21 the DA will ask the judge for a life sentence, which is mandatory under Oregon law for those convicted of intentional murder.

State law also says Wirkkala could be eligible to request parole after 25 years.

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