Deliberation to come in Pasco murder trial

By Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldJune 28, 2013 

A Franklin County jury is to begin deliberations next week in the Tashia Stuart murder case after more than three weeks of listening to prosecutors and defense attorneys present their cases.

The state and the defense finished Friday following a day of brief testimony from a few witnesses called by Stuart's attorneys.

The defense team of Bob Thompson and Peter Connick have been calling witnesses out of order during the trial because of scheduling conflicts.

Both sides will be preparing evidence to go the jury and jury instructions before closing arguments begin Monday.

The trial started May 28 in Franklin County Superior Court where Stuart, 40, is charged with first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances and attempted first-degree murder in connection with the death of her mother Judy Hebert.

Stuart is claiming self-defense when she killed Hebert on March 3, 2011, inside the home they shared on Salmon Dive in Pasco.

Friday, the jury finished listening to testimony from Pasco police Sgt. Brad Gregory.

He testified that three guns were found inside a safe in Hebert's room along with some pills and folders with documents.

Stuart reportedly had been trying to get the combination to the safe in the days before the shooting.

Gregory interviewed Stuart for about six hours after the shooting.

A heavily edited video of the interview, lasting over four hours was played for jurors this week.

Forensic expert Kay Sweeney testified Thursday that he believes Hebert was approaching Stuart with a hatchet raised above her head when she was shot.

Stuart shot at Hebert, 58, three times, with the first shot hitting her hand, going into her chest and eventually getting lodged in her spine, Sweeney said. She was also shot on her right side.

Hebert told neighbors and friends that she thought her daughter had been trying to kill her, including dropping a heavy bin of books on her head in the garage in February.

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