Jury undecided on former Selah man’s murder trial
Beckford is accused of murdering his wife in 1997
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — On Thursday, jurors informed the court they were unable to reach a conclusive decision in the murder trial of former Selah resident Barry Beckford.
The jury decided on two out of three charges against Beckford, but will continue deliberating over the third charge on Friday morning. They began deliberations on Wednesday following closing arguments from the defense.
Beckford is accused of killing his wife Deborah Bailey in February 1997. Her body was found with bullet wounds in her car along the Naches Wenas Grade, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports.
He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in January 2015. He’s also been charged with two counts of witness tampering.
Prosecutors acknowledged the evidence against Beckford is circumstantial, but said there is still plenty of evidence to consider. They claim to believe the defendant killed his wife and was driven from the scene by a friend.
According to Beckford’s defense attorneys, the state lacked evidence to pursue charges, but detectives became wrongly fixated on him.
Witness tampering charges against the defendant are based on recorded phone calls Beckford made from the Yakima County Jail after being arrested. He allegedly requested his sons should match up their testimony for the trial.