DALLAS – A Polk County jury is deliberating charges against Salem resident Dennis Sarver, who is accused of murdering Falls City resident Earl Jambura.
The incident took place on Black Rock Road outside of Falls City on June 9, 2018.
The defendant has been charged with murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon. If convicted of the first charge, Sarver could serve life in prison.
Sarver was arrested on June 9 after telling Polk County deputies that he shot and killed Earl “Buddy” Jambura earlier that day, according to court records. He drove to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to turn himself in following the shooting.
The jury begin deliberations on Wednesday afternoon after Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton and Sarver’s defense attorney Scott Howell gave closing arguments in Polk County Circuit Court before Judge Rafael Caso.
Felton argued in closing that Sarver intentionally shot and killed Jambura without warning. He said the shooting was not in self-defense and Sarver had the option of leaving the scene instead using a gun.
“He was not justified in killing him,” Felton said to the jury.
Felton urged the jury to convict Sarver on all counts.
Howell argued the Sarver did act in self-defense, saying that Jambura had threatened his client and aggressively chased him from his property in Falls City to the spot of the shooting. He said the shot that killed Jambura was meant to scare him, not kill him.
“There was an encounter,” Howell said. “That encounter scared my client.”
For more on the trial and the jury’s verdict, see the June 19 I-O.