PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A retired PBSO deputy, on trial for murder and charged with killing his son-in-law nearly two years ago, took the stand in his own defense Monday.
Carlton Nebergall Jr testified for nearly two hours as he recounted what happened, and claimed he feared for his life.
Dressed in a dark suit with his hair slicked back, Nebergall, took the stand and recounted the night of February 18, 2018, when his son-in-law was shot in the head outside his home in Loxahatchee. Nebergall says he heard his daughter and her estranged husband, Jacob Lodge, arguing after he dropped off clothes for their two boys.
“I hear two voices screaming at each other,” Nebergall said.
Nebergall testified Lodge had a history of violence and his daughter recently filed for divorce. He told the jury he walked outside that night with a loaded revolver and fired a warning shot into the air.
“I raised the pistol and pointed it off to the East and fired one round into the air,” he recalled.
Nebergall says Lodge then got into his car and started driving away, when all of a sudden he stopped, opened the door and appeared to be looking for something. Nebergall told the court he believed Lodge had a gun and claimed he was in fear of his life when he shot Lodge in the head.
“He slammed the door and he started to make an aggressive move towards me yelling you’re gonna shoot me, you’re gonna shoot me,” Nebergall screamed aloud in court.
Prosecutors tried poking holes in Nebergall’s story. They also played aerial video in court, which showed the retired deputy leave the area, sit by a tree and then lay on the ground under a neighbor’s car as police arrived. Minutes later, he could be seen with his hands up turning himself in.
“You just don’t know what it’s like to accidentally shoot somebody that you’ve known almost nine years,” Nebergall said.
Nebergall’s daughter testified last week against her father.
On Monday, both the state and the defense rested their case. Closing arguments will be heard Tuesday morning, and then the jury will start deliberating.