Tearful Hargrave testifies about fateful night

DA Patrick Flaherty does not hold back

POSTED: 6:14 PM PDT November 2, 2012    UPDATED: 6:28 PM PDT November 2, 2012 
Hargrave day 8
BEND, Ore. -

A Tumalo father who shot and killed his son took the stand in his own defense Friday. Jim Hargrve broke down on occasion as he talked about his relationship with Steven and what led him to pull the trigger last December.

Recalling memories of his son Steven, who he shot and killed Jim Hargrave broke down in tears in front of the jury, sobbing loudly.

Hargrave does not deny he pulled the trigger, but claims he had no choice and was acting in self defense.

"When he got up there with his fists raised and told me he was going to kick my ass, that's when I shot him," Hargrave said.

Hargrave explained that Steven got into a drunken rage and started screaming. He said he felt threatened and pulled his gun out of his holster and fired.

Several times throughout questioning, Deschutes County DA Patrick Flaherty objected to the questions.

"You just left a piece out of the story," Flaherty said, standing up.

He and Hargrave started arguing when he was at the stand, and Judge Wells Ashby had to tell the men to stop.

When it was Flaherty's turn for cross-examination, Hargrave repeatedly said he could not remember what he told police the night he killed his son. But with the transcript from Hargrave's interview that night in hand, Flaherty was prepared.

"Let me see if this refreshes your recollection," Flaherty said. "Did you have thoughts about grabbing the gun earlier? And you answered 'Probably, because I was just so mad."

Hargrave claimed if he didn't shoot his son, Steven would have beaten him up, like he said he did many times in the past.

"He might have done nothing," Flaherty said.

"No," Hargrave answered. "He would have done something, because he had thrown me down before."

Hargrave said he should have left the house with his wife Pam, and walked away from the situation that changed their family forever.

"I loved him very much," Hargrave said, breaking down in tears.

The testimony soon turned very technical about how close Steven and Jiim Hargrave were standing when Jim pulled the trigger.

The trial continues next week.