An Arlington man accused of murder took the stand on Friday and admitted he shot a good Samaritan, but said it was justified.
While trying to explain his reasoning, Thomas Harper told jurors he couldn’t recall some events because he kept blacking out.
Harper admitted to driving 93 miles an hour down Collins Street in December of 2011, causing a crash that killed Najee Nasir, and then shooting 18-year-old Clarence Robinson in the head, killing the teen as he tried to rescue Harper's daughter from the wreckage.
But Harper's defense seemed to put the fault squarely on the good Samaritan. He told jurors he shot Robinson because he thought the teen was trying to kidnap his daughter.
Harper said he heard witnesses ask if he needed help and repeatedly said no. But when Robinson reached in and took the girl from her car seat, Harper says he just reacted.
"My child was exited from the vehicle through someone else's hands,” he said. “That changed everything."
The prosecutor counted 41 times during Harper's testimony that he said he blacked out and was “in and out” of it.
While Harper flat out denied using drugs that day, a toxicology export testified that Harper had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.
He also testified that he did not sleep at all the night before and drank an energy drink before going on his drive that day.
The most emotional testimony, though, came from Robinson's mother, Sharon.
“This particular day was the saddest day of my life, and my life up to this point, and for a long time to be, will never be the same,” said Sharon. “That was my only son that I prayed for and was blessed with and I will never get another one, and it hurts.”
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