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Murder suspect could face death penalty

Prosecutors call the defendant's version of events 'absurd'

TIGARD - A Washington County jury is deliberating in the aggravated murder of a Tigard naturopath.

Brian Bement, 34, is charged with murdering 46-year-old David Greenspan in 2010. Greenspan ran the Greenspan Good Health Clinic in Tigard.

Jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon after three weeks of testimony in the case. No decision was reached by Wednesday afternoon.

If convicted, Bement could face the death penalty.

Greenspan was found in the driver's seat of his rental car at Methodist Cemetery on Northwest Cornelius-Schefflin Road, north of Cornelius. At first, Washington County sheriff's deputies suspected his death was a suicide, but later determined Greenspan had been shot twice in the head and once in the neck.

Bement faces charges of aggravated murder and first-degree robbery in the case.

During closing arguments Friday, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lesowski contended that Bement's story about events prior to the shooting was 'absurd.' He said evidence showed that Bement had taken Greenspan to the secluded site to execute him.

Testimony from crime scene investigators revealed that the gun used in the killing had been wiped clean and that Bement's story of how the shooting occurred was physically impossible, Lesowski told the 12-member jury.

Bement's aggravated murder charge comes in tandem with a claim that Bement robbed the doctor of nearly $30,000, money Bement had claimed was to be used in a drug deal later that day.

Bement's attorneys told jurors throughout the trial that the money taken from the car after the murder could not be considered a robbery because it was Bement's cash.

'The only thing worse than being charged with a crime that you didn't commit, is being charged with a crime that never happened,' said defense attorney Conor Huesby.

Lesowski disagreed, saying Greenspan was the main backer of the operation, and most, if not all, of the money in the car belonged to Greenspan.

'If even $1 of that money belonged to the doctor, then it is first-degree robbery, and it's aggravated murder,' Lesowski told jurors.

Both sides also disagree on how a stray bullet ended up in the car's back seat.

Bement alleges that the bullet was fired during a struggle between the two men. Bement testified that he grabbed the gun, and Greenspan fired into the back seat.

Huesby presented a video recreation of the incident, showing how the fight could have occurred.

Lesowski countered that the theory was physically impossible, saying the gun would not have fired if Bement had grabbed it as depicted in the video.

Dinner with friends

Some facts in the case are undisputed: Bement testified he was the one who pulled the trigger, killing Greenspan. He also said he ran away with money from the car.

Prosecutors said after the shooting, Bement spent two nights in downtown Portland's Heathman Hotel and dined with friends at the Portland City Grill, before moving to another hotel when police in the area made him nervous.

Both sides also agree that Greenspan and Bement were working together to sell drugs on Portland streets (though they differ on the extent Greenspan played in the operation) and that the two would take trips to Mexico together, where they would purchase drugs from a Mexican drug cartel in Tijuana.

Both men also had substantial drug habits.

Despite similarities in the stories, Lesowski and Huesby told jurors two different tales. Lesowski said Bement lied to his attorneys from the start, which was why his story made little sense.

Huesby told jurors the prosecution had gone too far in charging his client with aggravated murder.

'They could have had him for being a drug dealer,' Huesby said. 'But they wanted to charge him for something they shouldn't have.'




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