- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Portland’s former police chief has been indicted on a misdemeanor charge for accidentally shooting a friend during a hunting trip.

Larry O’Dea, 54, has been indicted in Harney County on a charge of negligently wounding another, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (https://goo.gl/hQ3WkQ).

The indictment states he “unlawfully and by failing to use ordinary care under the circumstances” shot his friend.

O’Dea resigned as Portland police chief in June, ending a nearly 30-year career amid criminal and internal investigations into whether he was forthright after the shooting during an April camping trip in eastern Oregon.

O’Dea had been chief for little more than a year when he went on the trip. He shot his friend, Robert Dempsey, in the lower back with a .22 caliber rifle. Dempsey was treated at a Boise hospital but was not seriously hurt.

When a Harney County deputy responded to a 911 call after the shooting, O’Dea suggested the shooting had been self-inflicted, according to sheriff’s reports.

A deputy who interviewed O’Dea at the scene wrote in a report that he smelled of alcohol. O’Dea denied being intoxicated, and his attorney, Derek Ashton, reiterated that contention.

O’Dea also didn’t identify himself as Portland’s police chief when deputies spoke with him. A few days later O’Dea told the Portland mayor that he had fired the shot. Harney County authorities didn’t learn the truth until weeks later, when the victim finally spoke with an investigator.

The investigation was then turned over to state police.

O’Dea’s lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached Tuesday. He previously said in a statement that O’Dea did not purposely point his gun at any person and did not knowingly discharge a firearm in the direction of his lifelong friend.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, https://www.oregonlive.com

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