Accused killer takes the stand

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- You don't see it happen in every murder trial, but a 19-year-old accused of first-degree murder took the stand in his own defense today. Josh Hunt emotionally described the July night he ended up shooting a friend. Hunt admits he killed 17-year Josh Snapp, but the state questioned his selective memory. KEPR was there for the testimony.

It started off with a summer party. It ended with a murder. Josh Hunt says he and John Young smoked methamphetamine four times that day. At the end of the party, they lured 17-year-old Josh Snapp to a spot near the ORV park in Horn Rapids with the promise to smoke marijuana. When they got there, they just sat in the car.

"It was kind of like an awkward silence, John tells me to pop the trunk. I ask him why, I just look at him, and he's like, 'Go pop the trunk,' I'm like 'All right,'" said Hunt.

At that time, Hunt says he got out of the car with Snapp.

"I see John come around the front of the car and step up behind me, and I go to close it and I hear two shots go off," he said.

Hunt says it scared him because the sound was right behind him. Those shots were in the air. Snapp stood with his hands up. Young pointed the gun at him and called him a snitch, using the F-word. In order to calm down, all three boys smoked marijuana. But things heated back up pretty quickly.

"I'm sitting there, next thing I know, gun's in my hand. I just shot him. He tells me to finish him, And I just, I just started sobbing and I didn't know what to do, I started walking away, and he grabbed the gun out of my hand and I just heard a shot," said Hunt.

The defense strategy is to show Hunt wasn't in a lucid state of mind at the time of the killing. Hunt says he doesn't remember the moments leading up to pulling the trigger.

Defense Attorney: "At any time during the day before, the day of, was it a topic of conversation to plan to kill Joshua Snapp?"
Hunt: "No."

But the state insists this crime was planned and premeditated. Closing arguments are expected Friday.

John Young is set for his own trial next month, but it could be delayed. He is also facing first-degree murder charges.