Murder suspect: I knew I was in big trouble
Brian Bement says he fatally shot Tigard doctor in self-defense
HILLSBORO - Brian Bement, the man accused of killing a Tigard naturopathic doctor in 2010, took the stand Wednesday to testify that the shooting was in self-defense, not a premeditated murder.
Bement, 34, faces charges of aggravated murder and first-degree robbery in the March 13, 2010, shooting death of 46-year-old David Greenspan, a Southeast Portland naturopathic doctor who ran Greenspan Good Health Clinic in Tigard.
Greenspan was allegedly a financier for Bement's drug business, which he operated out of an office in Portland.
Dressed in a suit and tie, Bement told a 12-person Washington County jury that Greenspan's drug use was rampant. He also claimed Greenspan was prone to paranoid thoughts that people were stealing from him.
Greenspan's behavior was erratic, Bement said, and the doctor often did not return phone calls or text messages. When he did, Bement claimed Greenspan had dramatic mood swings and shouted incoherently.
For two weeks, Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Lesowski laid out the case that Bement owed Greenspan money and planned to murder him to get out of the debt. Bement said Wednesday that the shooting was an act of self-defense.
According to Bement, the two were on their way to a major drug deal when they stopped to count their money at Methodist Cemetery on Northwest Cornelius-Schefflin Road.
The two were arguing as Bement got into the back seat of Greenspan's car to count $25,200. Bement claimed he told Greenspan he was never going to work with him again, and it was then, Bement said, that Greenspan pulled a gun on him.
'When I looked up and I saw that gun in my face, the look in his eyes was a person I had never seen before,' Bement told jurors. 'That person was trying to kill me.'
The two struggled for the gun, Bement said, and it fired, a bullet hitting the back seat.
'There was a loud flash and a bang,' Bement said. 'You could feel it in your teeth. It shook the whole car.'
Greenspan dropped the gun on the floor of the back seat, and the two continued to struggle.
'I got the gun first,' Bement said. 'And when I came up, he was moving fast, and I just started pulling the trigger. I just started pulling the trigger.'
The whole ordeal was over in a matter of seconds. Greenspan had been shot twice in the head and once in the neck.
Bement said he felt sick after the shooting, but still needed to purchase the heroin from the drug dealer later in the day.
He wiped his fingerprints from the gun, throwing it in the back seat of the car. He grabbed the $25,200, which he wrapped in a blanket.
'I ran as fast as I could,' he said.
Bement hitched a ride to a waiting friend, who he asked to be his alibi.
'I am a major drug dealer, and I'm in the middle of a major drug deal,' Bement told the court. 'Even though the doctor did drugs, he was still a physician. Who is going to believe me? I can't call the cops. I'm a junkie and a drug dealer. I was trying to think of anything possible. I knew I was in some big trouble.'
Bement was arrested five days later.