Man claiming 'stand your ground' says he feared for his life
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga.. -
The man who is using the controversial stand your ground law in a murder case took the stand and said he was in fear for his life that night.
Jessie Murray testified in a hearing where a judge will decide if he should be immune from prosecution and he was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed former police Officer Nathan Adams.
"I was scared. I was definitely, at that moment, I was in fear. I was scared," he said on the witness stand. Murray says he was very afraid when several white men began attacking him outside Benefields Sports Bar on Old Dixie Highway in 2014.
He said one of those men was former police Officer Nathan Adams. Murray says the men punched and choked him while Adams grabbed his arm in a tactical move.
"As he was pulling on me I just remember him grunting like ugggh... ughhhh," Murray said.
Murray says soon after that Adams hands got close to the gun he had just retrieved from his car.
"At that point when I pulled back that's when my gun discharges," he said.
A bullet hit and killed Adams. Murray was charged with murder.
He's using the controversial stand your ground law and asking a judge to toss out the charges because he says he was justified in using deadly force because he was being attacked and was in fear.
Murray says this all began when he tried to break the fall of Adams and another woman inside the bar. He says Adams told him don't ever put his hands on him again.
Murray says that's when Adams and his friends surrounded him and Adams began pushing him in the chest.
Murray says he never said anything back, and never called the woman an offensive name, as others have suggested.
"They just made trouble happen for no reason," he said.
Some of the men accused of attacking Murray testified they were concerned Murray was going to get a gun and he had made threatening statements.
One of the accused attackers admitted having a gun himself that night and said he fired at Murray as he ran from the scene after the shooting.
That man was not charged.
The judge will decide if Murray will be immune from prosecution.