FONT & AUDIO

MORE STORIES


Brian Bement was convicted in 2012, but he's finally getting a new trial after an appeal overturned this conviction.

A man who was convicted of killing a Tigard doctor in 2010, and whose conviction was later overturned, is getting a new trial in Washington County Circuit Court.

Brian Bement, 54, was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 after he was linked to the death of David Greenspan, 44, a naturopathic doctor with a practice in Tigard. PMG FILE: CHASE ALLGOOD - Brian Bement in 2012 during court proceedings. He is getting a new trial after being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of David Greenspan, 44. In 2017, an Oregon appeals court overturned his conviction, saying the judge improperly barred the jury from seeing evidence that backed up Bement's defense.

Greenspan was found slumped over in his car at Methodist Cemetery on Northwest Cornelius-Schefflin Road on March 14, 2010. He had been shot twice in the head and once in the neck.

Bement didn't deny shooting Greenspan but said it was in self-defense. Bement argued that the two were business partners, with Greenspan financing Bement's heroin operation. Greenspan would pay Bement money for drugs, which he would then turn on the street.

Bement said that Greenspan regularly used methamphetamine at that time, and had grown increasingly paranoid. He says Greenspan suspected employees of his GoodHealth Clinic on Hampton Street of stealing money from him.

On the night of Greenspan's death, Bement says that the doctor tried to rob him of the $20,000 he was counting in the back seat while they met at the cemetery to split the profits.

Bement says the two men wrestled and the gun dropped out of Greenspan's hand. Bement says he then turned it on Greenspan in self-defense and left the scene with the money hidden in a towel.

In 2017, the Oregon Court of Appeals said Bement should be given a new trial because Washington County Circuit Court Judge Rick Knapp didn't allow key pieces of evidence.

In his appeal, Bement and his attorneys argued that a series of emails sent between him and Greenspan in 2009 and 2010 showed the latter's deteriorating mental state and increasing paranoia. Not allowing them to be entered as evidence didn't give the jury the whole picture, he argued.

The appeals court agreed.

"Those statements are evidence that (Greenspan) had spent the last several months of his life believing that his financial straits were growing more and more dire," the Court of Appeals wrote in its opinion, adding: "That evidence has a tendency to make it more probable that (Greenspan) reached a state of mind … that provided a motive to act desperately and violently to get money from (Bement)."

Even without seeing all the emails, the jury struggled with its decision to convict Bement. It took a week before a guilty verdict was handed out, and jurors opted for a life sentence without parole instead of the death penalty that Bement faced.

Now, a new trial is underway in Washington County Circuit Court. The 12-person jury trial began on Tuesday, Aug. 23, before Judge Eric Butterfield.


You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.


Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!