The defense began and rested its case in Jeffrey Conrad's murder trial Friday. Closing statements and jury deliberation will start Monday. Jeffrey Conrad is charged with the murder of Casey Cox at a Reidland storage unit in June.
Conrad's testimony was very emotional at times. Conrad maintains he's told the same story since day one: that he shot in defense of his ex-girlfriend, Missy McKendree, who he believed was in danger. But the commonwealth says, with his knowledge of criminal justice and firearms, Conrad only said what he knew he needed to say for a defense.
Conrad started his story from the beginning, when he and his ex-girlfriend arrived at the storage unit early in the morning. Conrad said he didn't think anything of Brandon York or Casey Cox until he thought there was danger.
"I drew my weapon and immediately started hollering at the top of my lungs," Conrad said.
Conrad testified he was fearful of what the two men were capable of, saying, "He's glaring at me like he could have ripped my head off."
Conrad said that, thinking of McKendree the whole time, he had a split second to decide when he saw Cox move his hands.
"I didn't have time to aim. I fired into the car to get him to stop," Conrad said.
Conrad got emotional when defense attorney Doug Moore asked him what happened after he fired the one shot.
"After Mr. Cox was hit, his head fell to the right immediately, and I thought at that time he was dead right away. Sorry." Conrad said.
Commonwealth Attorney Dan Boaz questioned the split second decision, pointing to Conrad's experience with firearms. He said there was no way Conrad would shoot and not aim,
Boaz and Conrad went back and forth.
"I was not aiming at his head, sir," Conrad said.
"Did you shoot him right there?" Boaz asked.
"That was the result of the shot," Conrad said.
"And who shot him?"Boaz asked.
"I shot him," Conrad said.
"You shot him. It's simple," Boaz said.
Boaz continued questioning that because of Conrad's experience with firearms, Conrad knew the explanation he needed to give law enforcement.
"That's what you're saying now based on your training. You knew you had to say you were in fear of your life," Boaz said.
When the judge dismissed him, Conrad laid his head down.
McKendree also testified Friday. She testified how she was mostly in shock and didn't realize how serious the situation was until afterward. The defense also called neuropharmacologist Dr. Jonathon Lipman.
Lipman testified about how the drugs in Cox's system could have altered his perception and behavior at the time of the shooting.
There are nine men and five women on the jury. This includes two alternates.
If you would like to watch Conrad's full testimony from Friday, click here.
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