Opening arguments made in rail yard murder trial

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Opening arguments are made in the trial of a Klamath Falls man charged with shooting and killing his supervisor.

Officer Michael Benson was the first on scene at the Laverne Avenue rail yard after the shooting in April of 2014.

Benson says defendant James Forshee admitted to shooting and killing his supervisor, Emery Connor, as Forshee was being taken into custody.

“And I’ll quote off my police report,” Benson recalled  “He said, quote, ‘I shot the guy’.”

Connor was shot multiple times in the chest and head.

The shooting may have been sparked when Forshee was disciplined for a forklift safety violation.

Prosecutor David Schutt told jurors that Forshee had been planning the murder for at least 6 days – taking a taxi to work, and giving away his pets.

“He gets rid of the dogs,” Schutt said. “He gives them back to the person that gave them to him.  He gets his gun, and he loads it.  He actually gets ear plugs.”

Officer Benson testified that Forshee was calm and cooperative during his arrest.

Defense attorney Michael Bertholf is arguing that Forshee was acting under ‘extreme emotional disturbance’.

Bertholf questioned Benson, saying, “The question is, you have no clue as to whether Mister Forshee was acting normal, or abnormal.”

The jury trial could possibly extend into next week.

The trial is scheduled for eight days, and is being heard by a panel of 14 jurors.

Members of the jury have not been told which two are serving as alternates.

© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content