EUGENE, Ore. -- Attorneys for a man accused of killing an security guard in Eugene last year told the jury it was self-defense, but prosecutors are calling it a senseless crime.
During opening statements in the murder trial of Thomas Copeland, 31, Copeland's attorney David Saydack told the jury that Copeland shot and killed Frank Ledgett, 69, after Ledgett used pepper spray on Copeland's friend and feared Ledgett, who also carried a gun, was going to shoot them.
Ledgett was the owner of All-N-One Security and was on duty at the time. The alleged crime happened outside of Seasons Bar near the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Highway 99 in October 2018.
Lane County prosecutor Erik Hasselman told the jury that the shooting was not only caught on camera by the bar's security cameras but also by a body-worn camera that Ledgett was wearing.
He told the jury the videos show Copeland and his friends leaving the bar. He said Copeland was immediately in opposition and defiant when confronted by Ledgett, who is heard in security footage saying he heard yelling and screaming. Hasselman said the videos show Copeland's friends holding him back before shooting Ledgett.
If found guilty, Copeland faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.