Murder trial starts for man accused of killing security guard in Eugene

Thomas Copeland, 31, is facing a charge of murder with a firearm and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he's found guilty.

Posted: Dec 3, 2019 6:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The murder trial for a man accused of killing an on-duty security guard in October 2018 has begun.

Thomas Copeland, 31, is facing a charge of murder with a firearm and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he's found guilty.

On Tuesday jury selection for the trial began. Lane County Prosecutor Erik Hasselman said opening statements and first witnesses will likely happen on Thursday.

RELATED: SECURITY GUARD KILLED IN OVERNIGHT SHOOTING IN EUGENE 

On Oct. 5, 2018, Eugene police said Copeland shot and killed Frank Ledgett, 69, outside of Seasons Bar near Highway 99 and Roosevelt Boulevard. Ledgett was the owner of Springfield-based All-N-Security, and his loved ones said he was on duty at the time.

Court records filed by investigators said video surveillance footage captured the murder. Detectives said in the video you can see Copeland and three others leaving Seasons Bar and Ledgett driving up to the parking lot. They said the video then shows them talking to Ledgett, and at one point two people hold Copeland back before he pulls out a gun and shoots Ledgett.

Rebecca Meadows owns Maverick Hardware nearby on Highway 99. she said Ledgett used to patrol her property and said he was a very warm and sweet man.

"It did not have to happen, and he was just a very sweet man who wanted people to follow the rules and do what they are supposed to do," Meadows said.

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