WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Corey Graham, Jr., defended himself in the face of charges that he murdered a well-known Belle Glade grocery store owner. Under oath and in his own words, Graham, now 20 years old, admitted that he was armed when he entered the Alabama Georgia grocery store of January of last year.
Graham admitted to pointing the gun into the face of Jimmy McMillan to instill fear in him; even that he shot McMillan.
"Did you have the intention that you would go into that store and you were going to kill someone?," the attorney asked.
"No sir," responded Graham.
"But you did shoot somebody, didn't you?", his attorney asked.
"Yes sir," said Graham.
Graham and his attorneys, though, contend that Graham was forced to do it by a man named Jonathan Jones. Jones was with Graham at the time of McMillan's shooting death. Jones was acquitted of being an accomplice to Graham in the robbery and shooting.
Graham told the 12 jurors that if it were not for threats from Jones - who Graham said was armed - Graham never would have been on that store surveillance video that morning.
Also on the stand Wednesday was the lead Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigator on the case, Det. Harvey Atkinson. Atkinson answered questions about what he says was a recorded "confession" that Graham made to his own father while at the sheriff's office in the days after McMillan's death.
"You've got to tell me the truth. They've got video," said Graham's father on the recording. "Who shot him?", he asked his son.
"I shot him," said Graham.
Testimony was expected to wrap up by the end of Wednesday. Closing arguments and jury deliberations were anticipated for Thursday. If convicted of first-degree murder, Graham could receive the life in prison with no parole.
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