MARTINEZ -- Jury deliberations have begun at the murder trial for a 53-year-old Brentwood man who fatally struck and dragged a female acquaintance with his pickup truck in Antioch in 2010.

A public defender on Wednesday characterized 47-year-old Antioch resident Shelly Baker's death on Dec. 7, 2010, as a tragic accident and asked jurors to find handyman Lucio Rivera-Avila not guilty.

Rivera-Avila did not see Baker after he dropped her off on Cavallo Road and thought he had struck Baker's bag of laundry, deputy public defender Wayne Anderson said.

Rivera-Avila's prosecutor countered that the defendant deliberately ran over Baker after an argument, just as he did a Bay Point woman in 2010. Deputy district attorney Molly Manoukian said surveillance video and eyewitness accounts indicate Rivera-Avila had no reason to drive forward other than his desire to hit Baker.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.