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James Hargrave takes stand, details shooting

By Kim Tobin
Published On: Nov 01 2012 06:35:22 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 02 2012 01:03:22 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Kim Tobin was in court Thursday as Pamela Hargrave took the stand to testify in her husband's murder trial.

BEND, Ore. -

A Tumalo man who shot and killed his son took the stand in his own defense Friday, detailing what transpired on that fateful night at the family's home last December.

"I was angry," James Hargrave acknowledged, before firing the fatal shot -- in self-defense, he insisted in a climactic day of his murder trial before Deschutes County Circuit Judge Wells Ashby.

Afterward, he told the courtroom, he felt such remorse: "I felt like I should be dead, too."

"It made me sick," Hargrave said of the confrontation's fatal outcome.

We'll have more from the courtroom later today and a complete wrap-up on NewsChannel 21 tonight.

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Thursday's story:

The only other person home the night a Tumalo father shot and killed his son, wife of the accused and mother of the victim Pamela Hargrave, took the stand Thursday in Jim Hargrave's murder trial.

"My son had just been shot and my husband was going to jail," Pamela Hargrave said, sobbing into a tissue. "I was numb."

It was day seven of Jim Hargrave's murder trial, as his lawyers continue to claim self defense for killing his son Steven at their Tumalo home last December.

Pamela recalled fond memories of Steven, but said when he drank, he became a completely different person.

"Steven had a wonderful smile," Pamela said. "His smile was so big and bright."

Pamela continually wiped away tears as she spoke about her son. As much as she loved his smile, she claims the moment he had a sip of alcohol, everything would change.

"That beautiful smile was there, and then you could all of a sudden, just see it like a horror movie, just change," Pamela said. "His whole face would just change. He would turn into a monster."

Pamela said a few years ago, Steven suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was living in Phoenix and hit his head. After that, she said, he moved into their home, becoming more violent and more threatening.

"The worst thing he ever said, which he said often, was that he was going to chop our heads off, punch us in the face, parade our heads around downtown on sticks," Pamela said.

That fateful day of Dec. 4, 2011, Pamela said she and Steven were hanging Christmas lights, laughing and watching football. But she said the more he drank, the more threatening he became, and even bit her finger.

Steven and Jim started arguing, and Pamela said she got in her car to leave. Then she heard a gunshot.

"And Jim says, 'I killed him,'" Pamela said in her video interview with police. "And I said, 'What?'"

In her interview with Deschutes County sheriff's deputies early the next morning, Pamela described the violent night when Jim shot and killed Steven.

But she said as she looks back on her son's life, she tries to erase that night from the memories.

"That's what I want to always remember with Steven, is the good times," Pamela sobbed.

The two-hour interview video was shown in court Thursday. The trial continues Friday morning.

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