MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Brandon Estle took the stand in his murder trial Friday, June 14 talking about how and why he beat Justin Hasty with a baseball bat.
Estle is charged with beating and shooting Hasty in October 2012, then putting his body in a storage container found on property beside his parent's home.
WHY TAKE THE STAND?
Defense Attorney Jeff Deen said, "Obviously, it's his decision, so he testified. It's his decision whether he gets on the stand or not. He doesn't have to in our system; but, I think it was something that needed to be told."
Estle testified he and Hasty had been arguing about money Estle owed Hasty.
He said Hasty came up behind him, said, 'What's up, (expletive), and had a metal t-ball bat in his hand. He also testified he turned around and Hasty hit him with the bat on his right knee.
There was a fight, according to Estle, and Hasty dropped the bat.
Estle said Hasty picked up a gun from his bed, and said, "I'll kill you, (expletive)," and went to pull the trigger.
Estle said Hasty fumbled, and then he hit Hasty once.
Estle testified Hasty then fumbled with the gun again, and he thought he was going to get shot so he hit him with the bat.
HOW MANY TIMES WAS HASTY HIT?
Estle testified he couldn't remember how many times he hit Hasty.
Estle said he had a tool box in his truck, dumped the tools in the truck, and put Hasty's body in the box, but doesn't remember a lot of details about the incident.
DEEN ON ESTLE'S TESTIMONY
Deen said, "It's really a horrible event that happened. They needed some explanation. The one person that could give that information was Brandon Estle. I thought he was very truthful and gave very heart-rendering testimony, tearing him up to give it. I know it was hard for the Hasty family, hard for everybody, but I think his story needed to be told."
During cross examination, District Attorney Ashley Rich asked Estle questions, such as, why he didn't leave when Hasty pulled the bat, and if he tried to take Hasty's pulse or call police after the beating.
The defense finished calling witnesses Friday, and the trial will resume Monday, June 17.
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