HILLSBORO, Ore- On November 3, 2023, a Washington County jury found James Andrew Dewhurst guilty of Murder in the Second Degree with a Firearm and Unlawful Use of a Weapon with a Firearm. On December 14, 2023, Judge Theodore Sims sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years (300 months) without the possibility of parole. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrew Freeman and Senior Deputy District Attorney Andy Pulver prosecuted the case against the defendant.

In the early morning hours of August 30, 2021, Mr. Dewhurst called a suicide hotline to report he was armed with a firearm and was going to kill himself. He also stated he intended to fight law enforcement. An officer with the Beaverton Police Department spoke with the defendant at length over the phone in an effort to help him. During his conversations with law enforcement, the defendant disclosed that he murdered his roommate.

Officers convinced the defendant to exit his apartment building where he was taken into custody without incident. Officers searched the apartment and found the victim, Rocky Marciano Harkins (age 43), deceased from a single, close-range gunshot wound. Officers also found the defendant’s two Glock handguns and his AR-15 rifle, which was lying on his bed along with a tactical vest containing several loaded rifle magazines with more than 150 rounds of ammunition. The defendant assembled this weaponry in the hours between when he shot Mr. Harkins and when he called the suicide hotline, in apparent preparation for a gunfight with police. 

The defendant testified at length that he shot Mr. Harkins in self-defense, a claim the jury rejected after about three hours of deliberation. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the hard work and professionalism of Beaverton Police Department personnel on this case including the investigative efforts of lead Detective Maggie Brown. 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
November 06, 2023