Ronald Shane Turner admits he was a junkie addicted to crack cocaine in December 2009.
Testifying Wednesday, he described how he tried to sell a lawn mower, searched for scrap metal to sell and ultimately took groceries to a Marion Avenue apartment complex to sell to get money to feed his habit.
He said he didnt go to the apartments looking for 34-year-old William King, a man he owed $600 for drugs bought on credit.
Turner, who is charged with murder in Kings Dec. 3, 2009, fatal stabbing, said King confronted him about the money he owed and struck him in the back of the head with a beer bottle.
It sort of dazed me, Turner, 43, testified Wednesday on the second day of testimony in his murder trial.
He said he tried to run, but King followed him down the street.
He grabbed me by the back of my jacket, Turner said. He said he tried to spin out of the jacket, but one arm was stuck and King pulled it over his head while trying to strike Turner with an unknown object.
Turner said he pulled out his knife and thrust one time, hoping to hit Kings arm and break free.
When I stabbed King I didnt see what I was doing, he said. I killed him in self-defense.
An inmate who shared a cell block at the Bibb County jail with Turner in 2012 testified Turner told him a different story.
Wilbur Franklin Walton, now an inmate at Bainbridge State Prison, said Turner told him he had decided before seeing King on that night in December that he would fight him when he saw him again.
He said Turner told him he swung on King and while fighting decided that he was going to kill King.
Walton testified Turner also told him he made a plan with another man to tell police King and his friends had held a gun on them in a robbery attempt and that he acted in self-defense.
He bragged of the fact that he was going to keep the knife as a souvenir, Walton said.
Walton, who was jailed on a parole violation, a probation violation and a misdemeanor theft by receiving charge, also said Turner offered him $2,500 to kill a witness in the case.
Turner devised a plan in which Walton would take Liticia Padgett to a Pio Nono Avenue motel and give her a fatal overdose of drugs in an effort to keep her from testifying in Turners trial, Walton said. Padgett testified Tuesday that she went to the apartments with Turner and saw a portion of his fight with King.
Walton said Turner talked with other inmates about the scheme and he feared someone would agree to kill Padgett. He told his lawyer, who passed the information to prosecutors.
He was going to find someone to do it, he said.
Although Walton hasnt received any benefits from testifying, he admitted writing a letter to his lawyer saying he had the information and wanted to get out of jail.
After Turner heard Walton had talked with prosecutors, he said he heard from other inmates that Turner had put a contract on him by trying to arrange that he would be killed by gang members.
Walton also identified Turners voice on two recordings of profanity-laced jailhouse phone calls Turner placed to his former girlfriend.
Turner, sitting at the defense table, yelled that Walton was lying.
When deputies and bailiffs rushed to calm Turner, he loudly said, this is my life.
Jurors were ushered from the courtroom. The judge warned Turner that he would be ousted from the courtroom if he made another angry outburst.
Several jurors glanced at Turner as they re-entered the courtroom.
Turner whispered loudly, arguing with his lawyer, while the recorded phone calls were played for the jury.
In the calls, Turner complained about his lawyer, why his case had not yet gone to trial and why his former girlfriend hadnt worked harder to coach a second female witness on her testimony. He told his former girlfriend to pay the woman so she would say what he wanted at trial.
In the phone calls, Turner also said, I am guilty. I killed the man. So what? Id do it again.
He went on to say that he dreamed of killing people and eliminating his problems.
During his testimony later Wednesday, Turner denied offering Walton money to kill Padgett and said he was speaking hypothetically about paying off a witness.
He admitted he wrote a letter to a friend in 2010 saying he wanted a witness to disappear, but said he didnt mean that he wanted the witness killed.
Turner said he has taken medication for bipolar disorder and for paranoid schizophrenia since he was a teenager.
The disorders, coupled with his temper, sometimes cloud his thinking, he said.
He likened his temper to a childs tantrums.
Turner said he wasnt angry on the night King died. Instead, he was scared for his life.
After the stabbing, he said he got into his truck with a friend who rode to the apartments with him and Padgett and he called his girlfriend to ask for $20.
He said he needed the money to get out of town because he had just stabbed someone.
After getting the money, he and his friend went to a drug house and used the $20 to buy a crack rock before going home, Turner testified.
He smoked the crack, trying to calm down before talking with police, he said.
Closing arguments in the case are scheduled to begin Thursday morning.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.