05-22-2015 – A marine veteran and former UFC 44 mixed martial artist from Springfield, Oregon, had murder charges dropped in exchange for an accidental death conviction. Gerald Strebendt was charged in 2014 with one count of intentional murder. He hired Eugene criminal defense lawyer Mike Arnold to assist in the investigation pre-filing.
Strebendt shot and killed an intoxicated man who was on prescription anti-depressants in self-defense after a road rage incident. The Oregon murder defense law firm’s expert witnesses found proof in the black box that the aggressor used his vehicle as a weapon and intentionally rammed Strebendt’s pickup truck after brake-checking Strebendt (nearly causing a collision).
Weeks after the self-defense shooting an anonymous and secret grand jury indicted Strebendt with one count of murder. Mike Arnold, homicide criminal defense attorney, worked nearly around the clock defending this innocent and falsely accused veteran.
Strebendt told a Register-Guard reporter that the reason he took the deal brokered by the Lane County District Attorney, his murder defense attorney, and a Lane County judge, was “basic math.” He said the homicide plea deal bought him “insurance that I don’t have to run the risk of a jury getting it wrong.”
Plea Deals in Eugene Murder Cases
This is often the case for falsely accused defendants in Oregon who are over-charged due to poor investigations and unaccountable government bureaucrats. They must make rational decisions based upon risk management rather than run the risk of a homicide or murder conviction. An Oregon judge would sentence a defendant after a homicide trial without any agreement by the prosecutors. This is a particular problem if a jury finds an “imperfect self-defense” and acquits on murder but convicts on Manslaughter or Criminally Negligent Homicide
This murder criminal defense case saw a very politically charged process with the judge and district attorney alike all scrambling to hide from public scrutiny. Their secrecy (gag orders, secret court pleadings, etc.) continued even after DNA evidence was uncovered that proved that there was a struggle over the AR-15 rifle prior to the fatal shooting. This was not disclosed publicly for many months due to it hurting the judge’s and prosecutor’s theory of the case.
Hiring a Homicide Defense Lawyer for Murder or Manslaughter
For more information about defending murder and homicide cases in Oregon contact Mike Arnold at 541-797-0110. Call text/call 24/7.