Jury finds Yakima man guilty in 2016 shooting death, other charges

Yakima man testifies 'self defense' at his murder trial, jury begins deliberation

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- A jury is now deliberating for the murder trial of a Yakima man accused of shooting a woman in the neck last year after a dispute over drugs.

[Update, August 31] A jury has found Ricardo Dimas, 38, guilty on three charges including second-degree murder, second-degree felony murder, and first-degree assault.

Dimas faces up to 59 years in prison on these charges.

The jury heard from Dimas on Wednesday, who testified that he shot 47-year-old Anna Hargett in self defense in January 2016. She died, and another woman was injured by the same bullet that exited Hargett's body.

Prosecutors and the defense both presented their closing arguments to jurors.

Dimas testified his longtime friend Tabitha Bivens asked him to come with her to resolve a drug deal disagreement.

"She was upset," said Dimas. "Her girlfriend was sick. [They] were trying to buy some heroin for her. It wasn't good or whatever."

A group returned to Hargett's Yakima home to "make it right" and get a refund from her.

"She said that's not how it works; this ain't Kmart or Walmart," said Dimas.

A heated conversation between the women quickly escalated. Property surveillance video shown in court captured Hargett's niece pounding on the wall, and Hargett coming forward with an ax, followed by a gunshot from Dimas.

RELATED: Yakima murder trial continues with testimony from victim's niece, police

"I just kind of backed up and my hand went down towards my gun and I was like 'woah,' you know - you have an ax in your hand," said Dimas.

Dimas said the deadly turn of events happened fast and was unexpected.

"No thought process really to any danger you know, they're all girls you know; I just didn't imagine," said Dimas.

He was arrested by police almost three weeks later disguised outside his mother's home. With a felony criminal history, prosecutors said he has been in trouble with police despite his testimony to having a good relationship with them.

Prosecutors also said Dimas had no right to stay at Hargett's home when asked to leave.

"He doesn't leave until he's done what he's come there to do," said deputy prosecuting attorney Andrew White. "He's 'made things right.'"

Dimas's attorney said the shooting was a tragic response as Dimas feared for his safety and it's up to prosecutors to prove otherwise.

"It's in fact the state's obligation to prove any element that they may prove beyond a reasonable doubt," said defense attorney John Crowley.

Dimas said he felt betrayed by his trusted friend and has regretted that fateful night during the past 18 months in jail.

Now the jury will determine whether it was self defense or murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jury deliberation will continue Thursday morning. The judge will also rule separately on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, which carries up to 10 years in prison. Dimas has a felony criminal record, which was information that was inadmissible to the jury.

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