BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Accused murderer Peter Robinson spent more than three hours on the witness stand Thursday giving his explanation of why he beat his neighbor to death with a crowbar. Robinson is charged with murdering David Trask back in November 2011. He claimed it was self defense.
Robinson stood before the jury and re-enacted how he killed David Trask. His re-enactment was followed by the recording of the 911 call he made to police. Thus far, the court has heard testimonies painting Robinson as the violent aggressor, but Thursday Robinson claimed he was the victim of the Trask family bullying.
He told the jury he was scared of the Trasks and recounted alleged threats they made over the years. Most of the encounters involved other members of the Trask family. Robinson told the jury David Trask did make one threat to him in 2011 outside his home.
According to Robinson's testimony in June 2011 David Trask said, "I'm going to do whatever it takes to get rid of you."
The defendant described the encounter as traumatizing and claimed he looked into moving. Robinson, however, never moved and the next encounter was on November 12, 2011 when he killed Trask.
Robinson said he approached David Trask to ask him to lock the gate that blocked their road and that's when Trask allegedly came after him with a crowbar. The defendant said he took the crowbar from the 71-year old victim and hit him at least three times.
Robinson told the jury, "All I could picture was him pulling a gun out and shoot me."
It turned out there was no gun, only a cell phone in a belt holder. The state argues Trask was the one who felt threatened and perhaps he was reaching, not for a gun but for his phone to call for help. In The 911 call following the killing Robinson sounds like he's crying. He tells the operator the Trasks had been harassing him for years and said he thought David Trask was going to kill him.
As the call played before the court, Robinson sat with his head in his hands. He claimed he never meant any harm to David Trask or the rest of the family, he claimed he just wanted them to stay off his land.
Prosecutor Andrew Benson questioned how Robinson said he killed Trask. He questioned why the autopsy reports do not match Robinson's version of the killing.
After lengthy questioning Robinson became flustered and told the court he was very stressed and not well. The defense will continue with witness testimonies Friday morning.