A six-man, six-woman jury will begin deliberating this morning whether a Spokane man murdered two men last September or was defending himself when he gunned them down.
Merle W. Harvey, 28, faces two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the killings on Sept. 26, 2009, of 41-year-old Jack T. Lamere and 45-year-old Jacob J. Potter.
Harvey, a convicted felon, claims he shot Lamere in self-defense after Lamere brought a gun to a dispute over a vehicle. Harvey thought he saw Potter – who was with Lamere at the time – put a gun in his shirt, but it turned out to be a flashlight.
After the shooting outside an apartment complex at 1310 W. Boone Ave., Harvey stole a truck in Spokane. He drove it to Coeur d’Alene where he stole another vehicle before he was finally apprehended in Kennewick on Oct. 10, 2009.