Twenty-one-year-old Jesse Lewis of Avondale says on the night 33-year-old Bernard Mason was shot in the leg at his fathers house, he was afraid Mason had showed up to kill him.
Jesse Lewis testified that he and 33-year-old Bernard Mason were friends. But he also says Mason was known to fight. He says he had seen him angry before, but never as angry as the night in question.
Lewis was hanging with friends on the April 21, 2017 when Mason came to his fathers house. Lewis told the court, “I was concerned if he got his hands on me, he was going to kill me.” Lewis admitted to the court he had a shotgun he got from a friend three or four months prior.
Lewis says he was scared, and he admits he’s a runner. In fact, he has a criminal record that includes failing to stop for police and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
There was a conflict inside the house, and Lewis says he left through a side door to head for a car in the driveway. When Mason followed outside, Lewis says he fell. In his attempt to get up, Lewis says Mason lunged and grabbed for him, and he says that’s when the gun went off, shooting Mason in the leg.
Lewis told the court he could not recall pulling the trigger or Mason grabbing for the barrel, only that it went off. He then graphically described the gunshot wound.
Lewis called his mother, asked her to call an ambulance, and told her he was on the run. After a police pursuit, Lewis was arrested. He told the judge he didn’t know why he ran, he just did.
The trial resumes next week with closing arguments.