Karey takes stand in own defense

Karey takes stand in own defense
Woodrow Karey (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For two hours and ten minutes Woodrow Karey answered questions from his defense attorney Todd Clemons.  Right off, Karey admitted he killed Pastor Ronald Harris and explained he did it,  because in his words, "the pastor had raped his wife and she couldn't get away from him."

As well, Karey told jurors he could not let Harris destroy his family.  And Karey testified,  the last thing his wife told him before the shooting was that Harris had come into their home and raped her at their house.

Soon thereafter, he went to Tabernacle of Praise Church and killed Harris.

Karey told jurors he killed Harris at the church only because that's where Harris was, and not because he was trying to send some type of message.

Karey says he didn't just beat Harris because that wouldn't stop the threat.

Karey testified the day that started it all was when he was watching football with his son and grand baby and he received the extremely vulgar text meant for his wife.  It was a text filled with derogatory comments about her and the couple and comments such as, "your family will suffer," which he took as a threat.

As well, Karey testified about how much he had done for the church and the Harris family and had remained loyal when others had not, making the betrayal all the more painful.

Karey said he believed his wife that Harris had raped her continuously, taken pictures of her nude, beaten her and held a gun to her-- and that he was convinced that his wife and family were not safe from Harris.

Karey's testimony was elicited by his own attorney.  He must take the stand again, but will then will field questions from the prosecution.

Earlier there were some tense moments in court as defense attorneys and the judge disagreed over various legal issues. The defense has been trying to bring in evidence that Judge Clayton Davis ruled would not be allowed. The 3rd Circuit has ruled some of that evidence will be allowed and some won't.

Defense attorneys have appealed to the State Supreme Court on the evidence that the 3rd Circuit didn't allow.

Also, the defense put on a number of witnesses who testified about Woodrow Karey the week of the shooting and how he was upset and not himself after learning his wife had allegedly been raped by Harris. Karey shot Harris to death September 27, 2013 in front of his congregation.

Evidently, the defense put on the witnesses to show Woodrow Karey's state of mind in the days leading up to the shooting when he allegedly feared for the safety of his wife and family.

The jury also showed part of a dash cam video from the night of the shooting on which Karey said, "He raped my wife," referring to Harris.

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