The World Crime and Courts

NORTH BEND — A January stabbing death has been found justified by Coos County District Attorney Paul Fraiser.

In January, Eric Steven Woodworth, 39, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and was stabbed in the heart by her son when he stepped in to protect her.

Frasier broke down the incident in an afternoon press release Monday, stating that the actions of the 18-year-old were supported by the law and facts found at the scene. No charges are being filed against him.

“Under Oregon law, a person is justified in using physical force on another person to defend himself or others,” Frasier wrote in the release.

The incident happened in the early hours of Jan. 23 when Woodworth discovered the location of his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle. According to the release, Woodworth rode his bicycle from Gunderson Lane to the White Lane residence. He was observed by a neighbor in the backyard near the car, which was actually owned by his ex-girlfriend’s parents. Her parents confronted him and he demanded to see her, insisting that he knew she was inside the home.

“In an effort to get rid of him, they told him where she lived,” the release said.

He rode his bicycle to her home, which was also on White Lane in North Bend. He arrived at 6 a.m. and began pounding on the door and yelling “in a loud angry voice demanding to see (his ex-girlfriend),” the release said.

She was inside the home with her boyfriend and his 10-year-old son, her 18-year-old son and his girlfriend and their 10-month-old baby.

When Woodworth began pounding on the door and shouting, his ex-girlfriend and her son moved into the living room while the others retreated to other rooms.

“Due to the pounding on the door and the loud angry voice of Mr. Woodworth, (her son) armed himself with a knife,” the release said.

Woodworth forced his way into the home, saw his ex-girlfriend and moved in her direction. Her son “came to her aid and moved between them,” the release said.

The autopsy on Woodworth showed his cause of death was a stab wound to his heart. However, he also had methamphetamine, marijuana and antidepressant drugs in his system.

“I believe that the death of Mr. Woodworth was a justifiable homicide and no charges will be filed against (the 18-year-old),” the release said.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.