MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The father of Brandon Estle took the stand Wednesday morning, June 12 as a prosecution witness in the murder trial of his son.
Estle is charged with beating and shooting Justin Hasty in October 2012, then putting his body in a storage container that was found on property owned by his father.
ESTLE'S FATHER TESTIFIES
Brandon Estle's father is Doug Estle, the principal of Alma Bryant High School.
He testified that the Monday after Justin Hasty's parents and police discovered the blood splattered walls in Hasty's home, Brandon Estle acted paranoid, and was seeing and hearing things.
Doug Estle testified that even before Hasty disappeared, his son admitted to having a cocaine problem.
He was concerned two days after Hasty went missing because his son was acting strangely and that his knee appeared to be hurt.
Defense attorney Jeff Deen said Brandon Estle killed Hasty in self-defense after Hasty hit Estle in the knee with a baseball bat.
Deen claims it happened because Hasty wanted Estle to repay money he borrowed for drugs.
QUESTIONED ABOUT HIS KNEE
Doug Estle testified he asked Brandon what was wrong with his knee, and Brandon told him he had slipped on the stairs in his apartment.
Deen said, "Doug Estle was a witness for the prosecution, but I think he gave us an overall good view of the case."
Doug Estle also testified he knew his son and Hasty were friends and heard on the news Hasty had been missing.
Estle testified that he asked Brandon, "What's going on here? Is someone after you? Do you owe money to someone?"
He also testified that Brandon told him he owed Hasty a little money.
CALLING LAW ENFORCEMENT
Doug Estle testified that he noticed Brandon kept checking to see if anyone was driving onto the property.
Deen said, "It was basically that after some bizarre behavior by his son and discussion with him, he realized that he needed to get law enforcement to come out and look at something. So he did the right thing and called law enforcement."
Doug Estle testified as he continued his discussions with Brandon, he called the Mobile County Sheriff's Office and gave officials permission to search his home.
In opening arguments, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said Estle's parents had noticed blood on clothes Brandon had worn.
Deen said, "I think Mr. Estle was under a lot of pressure to try to help his son, but obviously he fully cooperated with law enforcement which would be difficult for any father to do. But he's done what he had to as a citizen."
ESTLE'S EX-GIRLFRIEND TESTIFIES
After Doug Estle took the stand, the prosecution called the defendant's ex-girlfriend.
She testified on the morning Hasty disappeared, Brandon Estle's eyes were bloodshot and he was acting hyper.
When he finally went to sleep she testified she said she looked at Brandon's phone and found text messages from Hasty and suspected drug use.
Deen said there was some testimony he would like to bring up, but isn't able to.
He said, "The judge feels like the hearsay rule would preclude us from bringing up a lot of things that we would like to have brought up, as to what was said by the son to the father. Well, the judge has ruled that that was hearsay and we can't get into it."
DA Rich isn't talking on camera at this point.
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