Opening statements in murder re-trial to start Tuesday

Oregon Court of Appeal overturned conviction after judge made error during jury instructions

Damon James Naudain, 42, shown in a jail booking photo.
Damon James Naudain, 42, shown in a jail booking photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Opening statements are expected to start Tuesday in the re-trial of a 42-year-old man who was already convicted of aggravated murder.

Damon James Naudin is on trial again after the Oregon Court of Appeal in December 2012 overturned two guilty counts of aggravated murder.

In January 1998, Naudin, and a group of people, drove to a home in Southeast Portland. Records show some of the men were intoxicated on meth. They were intending to rob people of what they believed would be a “significant amount of drugs and cash,” court documents state.

Inside the home, Jerry Hartman was shot and killed. An autopsy report shows he died of a single gunshot wound to the head. His then girlfriend, Julie Adams, and their baby son were home at the time.

Naudin and the other suspects were pretending to be law enforcement agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, court records show. Some of the suspects had security badges and “DEA” labeled hats. Naudin was the only person not covering his face with a bandana, court documents state. The men entered the home around 10:35 p.m. January 23, 1998 and yelled “police,” court documents state.

Court records show that the defense team believes the shooting was an accident. Prosecutors will likely again argue that Naudin intentionally shot Hartman because he believed Hartman was reaching for a weapon.

During a police interview, Naudin confessed that he was the shooter. When he was first convicted, a Multnomah County jury sentenced him to life in prison. He has remained in custody ever since the Court of Appeals overturned the conviction. The new trial is expected to last two weeks.

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