Defendant Takes Stand In Clay Co. Murder Trial

Defendant Takes Stand In Clay Co. Murder Trial

Defendant Justin Wayne Green testified in court Tuesday, admitting to killing Jose Ramirez in self-defense.

Ramirez said he had "no choice but to pick up the gun and start shooting" when he said Jose threatened to kill Justin and his family and reached for the gun first. Justin was noticeably nervous during the hour and a half of questioning, with his voice cracking and lips quivering.

Justin's mother, Terry Green, testified earlier in the day that Jose greeted her at the door one night by pointing a gun in her face and not saying anything, while she had her young grandson with her.

Justin then said on the stand later, that he went into Jose's bedroom the following morning to tell him he had to move out because of the incident. That's when Justin said Jose swore and threatened him, reached for a gun on his bed and cocked it.

After grabbing the gun first and shooting at Jose twice, Justin said he ran to his slumped-over body and began yelling, "Why?" He said he then dragged Jose's body to the garage to get him help, but when he realized he was dead, Justin instead called his mother.

"I didn't think they would believe me that it was in self-defense," said Justin.

Terry testified that when she arrived, she saw Jose's body in the garage, but no blood. She also said her son was "shocked" and "scared."

Both Terry and Justin said he then sent his mother back to work. That's when Justin said he alone took Jose's body in his pick-up out to a field on their property, dug a shallow grave, and covered the body with sheet metal and rocks, and later with a mattress.

Justin also testified that it was his own personal gun used to kill Jose, but said it was kept in Jose's room for safe keeping when children were at the house. Justin testified he used and then sold or gave away all of his and Jose's guns after his death.

The defendant also admitted to using Jose's debit card, by having his pin number mailed to Justin's family's P.O. Box. However, Justin said not all of the $9,000 charged to that card after Jose's death were from him, because he said the card went missing about a month later.

The prosecution rested early in the morning, after calling the Petrolia Postmaster to testify about the P.O. Box, and Jose's uncle to describe his nephew before the incident. His uncle talked about how he lost touch his Jose, and cried on the stand as he looked at pictures of his late nephew.

The defense also called Justin's sister to the stand, who testified most of the same details, except she said she never saw Jose's grave. Two other defense witnesses talked about seeing Jose on separate occasions with guns and beer.

The prosecution and defense will give their closing arguments Wednesday, and then the case will be handed to the jury of six men and six women for their decision.