Yakima man charged with first-degree murder in mother’s shooting death

Man accused of fatally stabbing his wife in 2016 to appear in court

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima man suspected of killing his mother, 74-year-old Mary Pickens, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Jeffrey James Pickens, 40, was arrested Sunday after police saw him running from the scene of a fatal shooting at an apartment near South 18th Avenue and Greenway Avenue.

Police responded to reports of gunshots in the area and found Mary Pickens dead inside the apartment. An autopsy on Wednesday found she had died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Jeffrey Pickens has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the case. He is being held in the Yakima County jail, with bail set at $1 million.

According to court documents, the man has seven previous felony convictions in Washington state and additional criminal history in Colorado, both of which prevent him from legally having firearms. He also has previous domestic violence history with his mother, including an arrest for assaulting her in 2018.