When the Hargrave family, defense attorneys and prosecutors enter Deschutes County Circuit Judge Wells Ashby's courtroom today, they'll all know the likely sentence James Hargrave is facing.
Hargrave, 62, was convicted of murdering his son Steven after a jury deliberated for about seven hours last week. Under Oregon law, murder carries a 25-year minimum sentence before he can seek parole.
But even though they know what James Hargrave's future holds, his family still cannot accept how the trial concluded and the decision the jury made.
“No one in our family is divided. We all want to see Dad free," Kenny Hargrave said. “Of course, everybody's (also) upset that Steve's gone and we miss him."
According to testimony during trial, Hargrave shot his son, 29-year-old Steven Hargrave, after the two began arguing while in separate lofts in their Tumalo home on Dec. 4, 2011.
Steven Hargrave, who at the time of his death had a 0.38 blood-alcohol level as well as traces of drugs in his system, threatened to attack his father, who told him to come over and try. When the son approached his father and continued yelling at him, James Hargrave shot him in the chest.
Hargrave and his attorneys argued he feared for his life and shot his son in self-defense. Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty told jurors Hargrave acted in anger after growing tired of his son's abuse. Flaherty declined to comment until after Hargrave was sentenced.
In emails this week, Hargrave's surviving son Kenny Hargrave said his family is upset with the verdict.
“The family is all devastated, in disbelief," he said, describing the emptiness that comes with first losing a brother and now a father.
Kenny Hargrave expressed doubt that the jury had taken enough time to consider all the evidence.
“My extended family and friends, even people I don't even know approach us and say we got screwed," he said.
One reason Kenny Hargrave is upset about his father's presumptive sentence is the man's frailty. James Hargrave suffered a stroke in 1999, paralyzing the left side of his body. He has limited use of his left leg and little or no use of his left arm and hand. He also has diabetes and is on dialysis three days a week for a failing kidney. Kenny Hargrave said his father had been on the list for a new kidney, but that's been on hold since he went to jail and will remain so until he gets out of prison.
He pointed to his father's various illnesses, and how much it will cost taxpayers to care for the man while he is serving his prison sentence.
“What honor is there by putting my dad (who) has no health left in jail?" he said, calling his father “a man with nothing left."
Kenny Hargrave said during settlement conferences before the trial, the district attorney's office offered a manslaughter charge that would have been a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Hargrave's attorney fought for two years in prison, and Kenny Hargrave suggested house arrest. But the two sides could not agree.
Hargrave said it's up to his father whether he wants to appeal his case, but the family supports it.
“There is certainly a possibility of an appeal and (co-counsel) Karla (Nash) and I are working on that aspect of things," defense attorney Terry Rahmsdorff said.
Kenny Hargrave is also trying to organize support for a pardon from Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Oregon law states the governor can grant clemency whenever he sees fit.
To be considered, Hargrave would have to fill out an application. That application would then have to be sent to the Deschutes County's district attorney as well as the district attorney in the county where Hargrave is imprisoned. It must also be sent to the state's parole board and the director of the Oregon Department of Corrections.
Anyone from those groups can send further information to the governor. Kitzhaber then has 180 days to grant the pardon; if he hasn't done so, the application lapses.
Rahmsdorff said he would help with a pardon if that's the best direction.
“I've never seen that work, but if it were going to we've got Dr. (Russell) Massine, who is highly regarded, and we've got Dr. Kitzhaber," Rahmsdorff said. “I mean, it would be a long, long, long shot, but when the options are a slow death or a quicker death?"
Kenny Hargrave is using Facebook to contact friends and family around the country, urging them to write to the governor and urge him for a pardon.
“I just don't know how to make it big enough to get community support and rally the people on our side," he said. “James just can't do 25 years. I don't think he even has five left without a new kidney."
For now, the Hargraves plan to sell much of what they own so that Pamela Hargrave can find a new place to live.
“Dad was a big piece of the financial puzzle," Kenny Hargrave said.
He said he may return to Arizona or move near whichever state prison his father is placed in.
But he knows that, barring some change in circumstances, his life has changed.
“I will never get to share the things I'm supposed to share with my dad," he said. “If I have kids they won't get to know a great man in (their) grandfather or touch him, be held by him, only see him in a picture or through (the) glass of a prison."