Following up a story I blogged about last month (see my October 22 entry), developments in the Oregon shooting death of Portland hunter Frank Means have led his family to announce that they will initiate an Oregon wrongful death claim against his killers.
Means was found shot to death near the town of Fossil, along the John Day River, on October 8. The Oregon State Police became involved in the investigation after Means’ widow criticized the conduct of the local sheriff’s office. Investigators eventually concluded Means’ death was the result of a dispute with other hunters. According to a report in The Oregonian Means, who had been drinking (an autopsy put his blood alcohol level at 0.24 percent), believed another hunting party was attempting to steal a deer he had shot. Means threatened the other hunters with a handgun, shot back when they attempted to disarm him, and was then killed by gunshots from at least two of the other hunters. Last week, a Wheeler County grand jury refused to hand down charges against Means’ killers, ruling that they acted in self-defense.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported afterwards that Means’ widow was “devastated” by the news and has hired an Oregon wrongful death attorney, intending to file a civil Oregon wrongful death lawsuit. “I just can’t understand that when somebody is shot five times that a grand jury could find that it was justified,” Jackie Means told OPB. “My husband was a wonderful guy, and he may have been drunk out there, but he was in his own campsite. I am having a real difficult time with this.”
Oregon wrongful death claims can include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of companionship and reimbursement for medical and/or funeral expenses. An experienced Portland wrongful death lawyer can help guide you through the process and advise on the strength of your claim, always remaining sensitive to the emotional distress of the loss of your loved one.
Oregon Public Broadcasting: Hunter’s Family is ‘Devastated’ by Grand Jury Decision