Yakima murder trial continues with testimony from victim's niece, police
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- The murder trial for a Yakima man continued Tuesday, with the victim's niece taking the stand to refute his claim of self-defense.
Ricardo Dimas, 37, is on trial for the death of 47-year-old Anna Hargett, who was shot in the lower neck outside her home in the 1100 block of Roosevelt Avenue in January 2016 after a drug dispute.
Dimas was on the run from police before his arrest nearly three weeks later.
“He ran back across the yards through the alley back to his parent's house,” said one undercover sergeant with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) who testified. “From what I recall, he made statements that he wasn't going back to prison.”
Disguised wearing a wig, beanie, and sunglasses, Dimas - also known as ‘Cheetoh’ to some – was tased twice before being taken into custody.
“I located some shell casings and surveillance cameras,” said Yakima Police Department (YPD) officer Jonathan Cordova, who secured the scene and evidence.
Property surveillance video captured the last moments before Hargett's death. Footage was shown to the jury, but prosecutors said they won't release it until after the trial.
The video showed Hargett's niece in the doorway with her aunt, confronting a group demanding money back from an earlier drug deal.
“It was known that it was poor quality heroin - is that true?” said Dimas’s defense attorney John Crowley.
“They said they didn't like it,” said April Jackson, who is Hargett’s niece.
Jackson testified that tensions rose as she and her aunt demanded the group to leave. She said her aunt threatened them with an ax.
“She only raised it once ... and then she threw it behind her,” said Jackson.
Shortly after, footage showed Dimas shooting Hargett, with the bullet also grazing another woman.
“It was like a little pause type, like he lifts the gun ... and then he kind of like hesitated for a second and then he shot,” said Jackson.
The jury listened to a frantic 911 call from Jackson.
“The one with the lower chest wound was somewhat unresponsive trying to catch her breath,” said YPD officer Bryan Elliott, who was among the first responders.
Now, questions of whether her death was an act of murder or self defense, with Dimas's fate in the hands of a jury.
The prosecution wrapped up Tuesday. The defense will present its case Wednesday and Dimas is scheduled to take the stand, which prosecutors said is a rare move for most murder suspects.