Yvegeniy Savinskiy says he was only trying to get to Providence Seaside Hospital when he led police on a high-speed chase from Astorias Lamplighter Motel to Cannon Beach and back to U.S. Highway 26, reaching speeds of up to 125 miles per hour.
Not knowing there was a hospital in Astoria, he told juorors in the Clatsop County Circuit Court he drove south and then decided instead to go to a Portland hospital, turning east on U.S. Highway 26.
But it was on that highway that law enforcement officers were able to pop his tires with spike strips and take the Washougal, Wash., man into custody. The chase happened in February, 2012.
Savinskiy is charged with several counts, including attempted murder and attempted solicitation of murder for the preluding shoot-out at the motel and allegedly attempting to hire an inmate to kill a police officer, his ex-wife and injure Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown, after he was in custody.
Now it will be up to the jury to decide Savinskiys fate, as the panel of 12 in Circuit Court were to be handed the case today.
During the last day of the testimony Friday, Savinskiy took the stand, describing himself through an interpreter as a misunderstood hunter and gun enthusiast, with an explanation for every item found in his hotel room. When questioned about the last time he went hunting and whether or not he had a hunting license, the judge sustained an objection from the defense in regards to relevance.
Savinskiy said the hard hat and reflective vest in his hotel room last year were purchased so he could use them at the shooting range.
The hair dye was to make his heavily-gray beard match the hair on his head. The creepy skin investigators found in the room was to cover up facial skin blemishes.
The FBI hat was purchased just for fun, as was the police scanner that was a steal of a deal at a sporting goods shop in Tillamook that he couldnt pass up.
He claimed the gun and silencer that police recovered were gifts, and that in the two days prior to the shooting, he traveled to Sacramento, Calif. and Vancouver, Wash., to visit friends.
When asked for the friends' names, he testified they both shared the same first name as he did Yvegeniy but he didn't know their last names. He later said they were both business partners of his and he visited them to try to set up future agreements to sell them cars.
Savinskiy also testified that at the time he believed Astoria Police officers were trying to kill him. He said he did not know they were police officers until after he had been shot, but he led them on a chase anyway to reach the hospital.
Savinskiy was the defense's only witness.