MEDFORD, Ore. — A Central Point man pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 17 years in prison for shooting his roommate to death in November of 2019, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office announced on Thursday.
On the afternooon of November 21, 2019, a neighbor on Ponderosa Street in Central Point called 911 to report the sound of a gunshot, saying that they saw a man lying on the ground across the street. Minutes later, the then 49-year-old David Bullard called 911 to report that he'd shot his roommate, 40-year-old Nicholas Kubasiak.
Deputies responded, arriving at 6603 Ponderosa Street to find Kubasiak's body in the driveway. The DA's office said that Bullard was arguing with the homeowner, Jerrimy Richards, about what had happened.
Bullard and Kubasiak had been living together at the home, and detectives learned that Richards had been trying to evict them due to their history of conflicts, the DA's office said.
On the morning of Kubasiak's death, the two had gotten into an argument. A security camera at the home captured Kubasiak slashing Bullard's tires and menacing him with a knife. Bullard then left the house, returning around 3:30 p.m. that day.
When Bullard returned, the DA's office said, Kubasiak was sitting outside "barbecuing hamburger patties." As Bullard approached, he starting an audio recording on his phone.
"Bullard first asked where Mr. Richards was and then questioned Mr. Kubasiak about the eviction," the DA's office said. "Bullard and Mr. Kubasiak then got into a verbal argument. Bullard told Mr. Kubasiak to put the knife away. Mr. Kubasiak responded he did not have a knife."
At that point, Bullard produced a gun and shot Kubasiak, killing him. When detectives arrived, they found Kubasiak's knife lying on the ground near his body.
Deputies interviewed Bullard for the investigation, then released him to Asante Rogue Regional's Behavioral Health Unit for a psychological evaluation. It was during this time that detectives found the audio recording of the shooting.
Bullard was arrested and later indicted on a single charge of Murder in the Second Degree. But during the course of the later court proceedings, the key witness in the case — landlord Jerrimy Richards — passed away, and another essential witness left Oregon. Without witnesses, the DA's office pursued a plea deal, bumping the charge down to Manslaughter in the First Degree.
Bullard pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to 204 months (17 years) in state prison, three years of post-prison supervision, and he will have to pay restitution for Kubasiak's funeral costs.
"At sentencing both Mr. Kubasiak's mother and brother spoke about the impact this crime had and continues to have on their family," the DA's office concluded. "Mr. Kubasiak's mother made a heartfelt testimony of her son's life, the positive impact he had on others and the loss she and her family feel every day."