Hargrave interrogation video triggers tears

Murder defendant breaks down on tape, in court

POSTED: 6:16 PM PDT October 26, 2012    UPDATED: 6:36 PM PDT October 26, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

A Tumalo father on trial for murder broke down in tears Friday, as a video was shown of the interview police had with Jim Hargrave, hours after he shot and killed his son, Steven.

The question that's the focus of the trial, which began this week: Did he shoot and kill his son in self-defense?     

As prosecutors showed the video of detectives questioning Hargrave, he burst into tears and began sobbing. He had his head down on the table as his attorneys tried to comfort him. His wife, Pamela and oldest son, Kenny also cried in the courtroom.

In the almost four-hour long video, Hargrave said his son was in a drunken rage and bit his mother's finger.

"He just went off," Hargrave told Deschutes County sheriff's Detective Steven Mangin in the video.

Hargrave said Steven threatened him, like he had done several times in the past. He referenced a few times they fought and Steven threw him to the ground and also hurt his eye.

Hargrave said he was fed up and told his son to come over to his bedroom and try to hurt him. When Steven approached him, Hargrave said he picked up his 357 revolver and shot his son in the chest.

"I just went, 'Boom,'" Hargrave said, acting as if his hand were the gun.

In the video, Hargrave said said he was sorry and admitted he was angry and should have gotten in his car and drove away. He even said perhaps he should have turned the gun on himself instead.

"What do you think should happen to you then?" Mangin asked.

Hargrave replied, "Shoot me. Hang me. I don't know."

The incident was not the first time police went to the Hargraves' home. They were also called to a domestic dispute in 2010.

"We were dealing with a father who admitted to shooting his son," Mangin said during questioning. "It was a close family dynamic. The information that he was providing me before the interview started and during the conversations he was being open with me and forthcoming. We had an open conversation."

Kenny Hargrave spoke to NewsChannel 21 off-camera. He said he's upset his brother would put their father in the situation he did that night.

He said he also wanted to make it clear that many of the weapons found in the home and shown to the jury Thursday actually were harmless movie props and collectibles.

The trial continues Tuesday morning.