Hunter charged in Marine's shooting death

NEAR SUBLIMITY, Ore. – A hunter who thought he was shooting a bear when he shot a hiker near Silver Creek Falls State Park in October has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, according to a Marion County Court clerk.

Eugene Collier, 67, shot Christopher Ochoa, 20, on Oct. 21.

A grand jury handed down the indictment on Monday.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies said Ochoa and his friend Raymond Westrom, 53, were hiking to Silver Creek Falls. At the same time, Collier and his grandson were hunting bear in the area. Collier told deputies he saw what he thought was a bear moving in the brush and fired a shot from his hunting rifle, deputies said.

The shot struck Ochoa, deputies said. He died at the scene.

Both Ochoa and Westrom were wearing dark clothing, deputies said.

Collier's grandson was away from the shooting when it happened, and was not a witness, according to deputies.

Ochoa was an active Marine Corps Reservist who was due to report back for duty on Oct. 25.

Collier is scheduled to be in court on Nov. 22.