PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On March 14, 2010, Dr. David Greenspan was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of his car at Methodist Cemetery on Northwest Cornelius-Schefflin Road. He had been shot twice in the head and once in the neck. Greenspan, a naturopathic doctor with a practice in Tigard, was 46.
Brian Bement was later arrested. The case revealed that Bement and Greenspan were business partners — in dealing drugs. Greenspan became a partner in Bement’s drug dealing operation, financing purchases of heroin which Bement sold on the street.
Bement, now 44, was found guilty of aggravated murder, murder, first-degree robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bement was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for the murder.
But in 2017, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that Bement should receive a new trial after Washington County Circuit Court Judge Rick Knapp barred a series of emails sent by Greenspan in 2009 and 2010 from being entered as evidence.
Tuesday, after many motions and COVID-related delays, that new trial gets underway in Washington County.
In his appeal, Bement argued the emails were vital in establishing the defense’s case — that Greenspan had become paranoid about money and tried to rob Bement of $20,000 in the Cornelius cemetery.
According to Bement’s appeal, Greenspan’s emails became increasingly paranoid as he fell deeper and deeper into drug addiction. He began to fixate about his failing medical practice, the Greenspan GoodHealth Clinic on Hampton Street in Tigard. He also hosted a Portland cable-access TV show.
Greenspan, who Bement said was a regular user of methamphetamine at the time of his death, began to suspect the employees at his clinic of stealing money from him. He began to believe he was going bankrupt and that fear — Bement argued — led him to try and rob Bement on the day of his death.
In court, Bement said he and Greenspan drove to the cemetery north of Cornelius with $20,000 to conduct a drug deal, but Greenspan instead tried to rob him as Bement was counting money in the back seat of the car. Greenspan, sitting in the driver’s seat, pulled out a gun and demanded the cash.
The two struggled, and Greenspan dropped the gun. Bement grabbed it and shot Greenspan three times then fled the scene with the money wrapped in a towel.
Jurors struggled with their decision. After the trial was over, it took a week before the jury handed in their guilty verdict. Bement faced the death penalty in his case, but jurors opted instead for life without the possibility of parole.