Emmanuel Perez testifies in own murder trial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Emmanuel Perez testifies in own murder trial


The Hunter Army Airfield sergeant on trial for the 2013 murder of Armando Montez at a tire shop has taken the stand.

Prior to Perez testifying, the prosecution rested on Wednesday after calling more than ten witnesses to the stand, including some who witnessed the shooting and others who interacted with Perez in the moments following the murder.

The prosecution continued to build its case against Perez, who they said shot and killed Montez in front of the White Bluff Road tire shop out of jealousy because Montez was sleeping with his wife.

Several witnesses said they heard the repeated gunshots that day in April. A Hunter Army Airfield Military Police Lieutenant testified that he was working at the station where Perez drove to directly from the shooting.  

Detectives and officers also testified on Wednesday, saying that Perez seemed matter of fact and calm in the moments after the shooting. A mechanic who was working at the tire shop that day also testified on Wednesday. He told the court, through a translator, what Perez told him to tell Montez moments before the shooting.

"And so the man told me to say goodbye to him and give him a kiss," the mechanic said through a translator.

"Who told you to say goodbye and give him a kiss?" asked the prosecution.

"The man that's present," the mechanic said.

The mechanic said moments later he heard the gunshots.

The prosecution also played the police interview with Perez, who admitted to shooting to Montez. 

In the video recording Perez can be heard saying, "I'm not sure if it was 12 rounds or 11 rounds."

Perez admitted to detectives that he shot and killed Montez at Brother Tires in a police video recorded the day of the shooting.

Perez said "Just do it, and I did. I put one in the head on this [left] side, then after he dropped on the floor…"

The state called several witnesses to the stand on Wednesday, many of whom had heard the gunshots and witnessed the murder, none of which Perez denied in the police interview.

"I was looking for him," he said.

"How long was it when you were looking for him, then when you actually got to him," asked police.

"I would say like an hour and a half," Perez replied.

"And what did you do between those two points?" police asked.

"Just drive around," Perez replied.

Detectives described Perez as calm and collected, almost matter of fact, but that is not the same emotion Perez displayed in court on Wednesday.

"I was like a volcano man, angry," Perez said. "You name it, like a cluster of emotions inside."

Perez took the stand on Wednesday, testifying that the day of the murder his wife confirmed his suspicion of the affair she was having with Montez, even asking for a divorce, and saying in the heat of the moment he went to confront Montez about the affair.

"I wasn't even thinking," Perez said. "I just wanted to confront him and everything because she's telling me yes and he's telling me no, and she's the one lying and getting the divorce?"

Perez testified that he felt so much relief after the shooting.

The prosecution is trying to prove that Perez was planning to murder Montez, but the defense said this was all in the heat of the moment and should be manslaughter.

Court adjourned for the day, and will resume on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  

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