Steven Edwin Adam Sellers, 37, of 49 Madden Road, Kingston, said the alleged victim strangled him after punching another man in Sellers' car and cursing and threatening Sellers' wife. The incident occurred in the driveway of the alleged victim's Barnsley Garden Road, Adairsville, home after a party.
Sellers said he was in the passenger's seat of the car, which he had a friend drive to pick up Sellers' intoxicated wife, and after the alleged attack attempted to fire a warning shot aiming at the ground.
"I think he stepped into the bullet," Sellers said, adding that he is right-handed but used his left hand to retrieve the gun from under the seat while his right hand was shielding his head from blows inflicted by the alleged victim. Sellers said he cocked the gun and warned the alleged victim that it was loaded.
The 10-man, two-woman jury's decision as to whether Sellers acted in self defense could hinge on testimony about why Sellers traveled back to the home of the victim. According to testimony, Sellers' wife was waiting to be retrieved at the end of the driveway, and Sellers said he had his driver pull forward to the home to apologize.
The alleged victim, his wife and another man present at the home that evening each testified that Sellers had been told not to return. Sellers denied on the stand that he had been barred from entering the property.
The two stories also diverge at another point -- when the weapon came out. The alleged victim told jurors he saw what he first thought was a knife in Sellers' hand when the car pulled up and Sellers got out.
Sellers and the man piloting his vehicle that night told jurors the alleged victim mounted an attack and made threats to kill Sellers. The alleged victim testified that he went after the gun in fear for his family's safety after Sellers, who was in the car at the time, pointed it at him.
A 911 call played for jurors indicated a woman in the alleged victim's home knew "someone [had] a gun" shortly before the woman notified dispatchers a shot had been fired, but it is unclear if the altercation had or had not already began. Sellers also called 911, and jurors heard the recording of him informing authorities he "might have shot someone" but was under attack, with the group allegedly also hitting his car.
Prosecuting attorney Greg Dickson told jurors in closing that investigators found no injuries on Sellers and no damage to his car, and reminded jurors that even if they believed Sellers was being attacked, the response of pulling a gun was disproportionate to the threat.
Sellers' attorney, Lance Dutton, argued in closing that Sellers during the events leading up to the shooting was concerned for his wife, who was allegedly being held against her will by the alleged victim and wife. Dutton reminded the jury the incident involved heavy drinking, and that his client was sober while the alleged victim and wife were not.
He said the alleged victim was angry and attacking Sellers and the people in his car, and that Sellers pulled the gun in self defense.
Sellers is charged with aggravated assault, pointing or aiming a gun or pistol at another, criminal trespass and reckless conduct. The jury is expected to continue deliberating today.