After being shot five times near Vancouver Lake, Freddie Landstrom dove into a swamp, covered himself with mud and crawled away from his assailant, according to his testimony in Clark County Superior Court on Wednesday.
“I wanted to stay away so he couldn’t find me,” he said.
The 39-year-old Beaverton, Ore., man took the stand in the trial of Pedro “Junior” Godinez Jr., 20, of Vancouver. Godinez is accused of kidnapping, robbing and attempting to murder Landstrom on Nov. 28, 2012.
Landstrom sometimes sounded breathless and panicked as he recounted the events of the night.
As he hid in the swamp, he said, he didn’t know where he was.
“I stayed there, it seemed like an eternity,” he said.
It was so dark that he couldn’t see anything but a distant blinking light.
“I was getting dizzy,” he said. “I thought, ‘I just got to get to that light.’”
Landstrom said he pulled off a sock and held it to his head to stop bleeding from a gunshot wound. Sometimes, he said, he became disoriented. He said he talked to himself and resisted closing his eyes.
He said he walked about a mile before a piece of wire caught his shoulder.
“There’s a wire,” he said. “There’s got to be something, so I followed the wire.”
He eventually saw the lights of Kadow’s Marina, at 10612 N.W. Lower River Road, went down a walkway and started knocking on the door of a houseboat. The lights were on inside, he said.
“I said, ‘Help, I’ve been shot.’ ” Then, the houseboat’s lights went off, he said. He said he tried knocking at another door without success before returning to the first door. This time, he said, he identified himself by name and again asked for help.
“ ‘Go away, or I’ll call the police,’ ” the female resident said, according to Landstrom.
“I said, ‘Great. That’s what I want.’ ”
Landstrom also testified Wednesday about the events that led up to the shooting.
He said that several weeks before the shooting, he stopped at a convenience store near his workplace in Milwaukie, Ore. Outside the store, he said he noticed a woman with two children, and the woman was crying.
“I said, ‘Hey, are you OK?’ ” Landstrom recounted. “She was really upset. She told me she lost her job. She was trying to get to her parents’ but didn’t have bus fare.”
Landstrom said he offered to give her a ride. During the drive, he said he offered her a job cleaning his residence.
A couple of days later, the woman, Joanna Speaks, cleaned his apartment, he said. He said he paid her $75.
Landstrom said Speaks kept in contact with him after that. Then, on the night of the shooting, Speaks contacted him and told him that her electricity would be shut off the following morning if she didn’t pay the $85 bill, he said. Landstrom said he was about to go to a casino in La Center and offered to drop off money for her bill on the way. While he was driving to her residence at Fishers Mill Apartments, Speaks asked him to bring her some beer, so he stopped to buy a six-pack at a Chevron store in Vancouver, he said.
Under cross examination by Godinez’ attorney, Chuck Buckley, Landstrom denied that he had a sexual relationship with Speaks. Buckley asked Landstrom why he had told a Vancouver police detective that he’d had intimate relations with Speaks. Landstrom said he meant that Speaks had told him intimate details about her life. He said he just wanted to help her.
When Landstrom entered Speaks’ apartment, all the lights were off except in the bedroom, Landstrom said. Speaks beckoned him toward the back of the apartment, he said. He said he thought they were alone.
“She had a stoic look, like a paused look,” he said. “I said, ‘Are you O.K.?’ ” Before she could answer, he said he heard a door open and close.
“I look, and this man comes in with a gun,” he said. At first, he said, he thought he and Speaks were being robbed, but then she walked in front of him and whispered something into the gunman’s ear, he said.
Landstrom said something aloud about having been set up.
“Shut the (expletive) up,” the gunman said. The gunman ordered him to take off his jacket, empty his pockets and lay out the contents on the bed, he said. Then, the gunman ordered Landstrom to go to Landstrom’s 2012 black Nissan Sentra, he said. Landstrom said the gunman walked about five feet behind him with the gun pointed at him. Landstrom said he sat in the driver’s seat; the gunman sat in the back seat, continuing to point the gun at Landstrom.
He said the gunman then ordered him to drive out of the apartment complex and all around Vancouver until they reached the Vancouver Lake area, where the shooting occurred.
Landstrom said he identified Godinez as his attacker after a detective showed him a picture of the suspect. The detective also showed him a photo of another individual, which Landstrom said was not his attacker, Landstrom said. The photos were shown separately, he said.
Speaks has admitted to playing a role in the attack and pleaded guilty July 10 to first-degree robbery and tampering with a witness. She was sentenced to 42 months in prison as part of a plea bargain. In exchange, Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino dismissed charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and receiving a bribe. She is scheduled to testify in Godinez’ trial this week.
The trial is expected to last for the next several days in Judge Barbara Johnson’s courtroom.