Oregon man acquitted in strip club killing as defense rips missing evidence


A man accused of accidentally killing his friend while pistol-whipping another patron at a Portland strip club in 2021 was acquitted of all charges Friday following arguments by his defense attorney that key surveillance camera footage went missing or was never collected.

Borissean Washington faced charges of first-degree manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old Daquan Turner, his friend since childhood, as well as a second-degree assault charge for allegedly striking another patron of the club, Travis Tsosie, in the face with a gun.

Surveillance video showed Washington talking with a female friend in the parking lot of Shimmers Gentlemen’s Club on Southeast Foster Road on Dec. 18, 2021, when another man, identified by authorities as Tsosie, punched Washington in the face.

Washington, now 28, went inside to hail a bouncer and drew the attention of Turner, who came outside and pulled out a pistol, according to defense attorney Thomas Freedman.

Washington disarmed his friend as Tsosie stood in the covered entryway to the club, the defense attorney said.

What happened next remains unclear — as the footage from a camera position inside the alcove either wasn’t collected by investigators or somehow got lost, Freedman said.

“I want that evidence to exonerate my client and the state is preventing me from having that,” Freedman told the jury of 10 women and two men. “They buried the video from that doorway, whether it was negligence or intent, they buried it.”

Prosecutors contended that it was clear, even without the footage, that Washington inadvertently shot Turner while hitting Tsosie with the gun. Another camera showed Washington approaching the alcove, gun in hand, according to footage played in court.

“The only way that gun was fired is if the trigger was pulled,” said Deputy District Attorney Julian Samuels. “Because of that action, not only did Mr. Tsosie get injured, but Mr. Turner died.”

Washington spoke with detectives in a recorded interview after the shooting, the prosecutor said, playing brief portions in which Washington said he struck Tsosie as Tsosie lunged at him.

On the witness stand, however, Washington said that he had no recollection of striking Tsosie in the entryway, and told the jury they had  only seen cherry-picked moments from when he was sleepless and still in shock.

Prosecutors subpoenaed Tsosie but he didn’t show.

A bouncer at the club, Frank Trenkler, testified that the missing footage wasn’t that revelatory because Tsosie’s position blocked the lens.

A police officer also used his phone to record part of the missing camera angle video, but the “copy of a copy” was too grainy to be enhanced or determine if Washington’s finger was on the trigger as he approached with the gun, Freedman said.

Freedman acknowledged that the gun somehow went off, but said his client was acting in self-defense.

“A shooting, a tragedy happened, but it wasn’t a crime,” Freedman said.

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