Man's charge upgraded to murder in death of former Oregon National Guard soldier

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SALEM, Oregon — A Salem man is now facing a murder charge in the death of a former Oregon National Guard soldier.

The Statesman Journal reports ( ) Nicholas Ransom was originally charged with first-degree manslaughter, but he was re-arraigned Tuesday after a grand jury returned the murder charge.

Police responded to reports of a disturbance involving a gun at a residence July 15 when they found Matthew Pearce dead with multiple gunshot wounds.

According to an affidavit, Ransom told police that Pearce had starting choking him during a fight in the bedroom. Ransom said he grabbed a handgun and shot Pearce multiple times in fear for his life.

However, witness testimony and an evaluation of Ransom's injuries pointed to discrepancies in Ransom's story.

His next court date has been set for Sept. 14.

Information from: Statesman Journal,

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