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Jury deliberating fate of accused security guard killer

The jury for the murder trial of Thomas Copeland, 31, started deliberating at 1:30 Thursday afternoon, court staff said.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 6:45 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The fate of man accused of shooting and killing a security guard is now in the hands of a jury.

The jury for the murder trial of Thomas Copeland, 31, started deliberating at 1:30 Thursday afternoon, court staff said. They left at 5 p.m. Officials said the jury is due back in court to debate at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

Copeland is accused of murder for shooting Frank Ledgett, 69, outside of Season's Bar on Highway 99 and Rosevelt Boulevard in October 2018. Copeland testified that he shot him in self-defense.

During closing arguments, prosecutors showed video survivance of the shooting from both a security camera in the parking lot and from a body camera Ledgett was wearing. The video shows Copeland shooting Ledgett after Ledgett told them he and the two women he was with that they the needed to leave the property.

"He believed, reasonable, that Mr. Ledgett was going to his belt and pull that gun out and shoot him or the girls in front of him," said Copeland's attorney David Saydack to the jury. 

But Lane County Prosecutor Erick Hasselman told the jury the two women testified they didn't feel it was self-defense.

"Where is this self-defense claim coming from? It's not being raised by Ms. Tiffany, it's not being raised by Ms. Jankens, it's being raised by the defendant Mr. Copeland," Hasselman said. 

If found guilty, Copeland could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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