Martinez: "I shot, not to hit them, but right beside them." - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Martinez: "I shot, not to hit them, but right beside them."

Fernando Jaimes-Martinez testified in his murder trial. Fernando Jaimes-Martinez testified in his murder trial.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - The murder trial of Fernando Jaimes-Martinez will go to the jury next week. The evidence portion of the trial ended Friday, but not until Jaimes-Martinez took the stand, himself.

Fernando Jaimes-Martinez has spent seven days of testimony sitting quietly next to his attorney, listening to court proceedings through a translator.

But Friday, Martinez told his side of the story. He said he didn't intend to harm anyone that night.

Those at the party across the street recalled a fight between two men on Martinez's front yard and said they were provoked.

When they ran over to address the situation, they said they were attacked with knives by the brothers of Fernando Jaimes-Martinez, which led to gunfire.

But Martinez remembers those people across the street, provoking them.

"They started whistling and stuff like that, everybody. And not just one. You could hear the whole, you could hear all of them, you know," said Fernando Jaimes-Martinez.

Martinez said he never thought they'd run all the way over to the yard. But when they did, he said he was scared for himself and his family.

"Thought they were just going to come inside and probably kill us all," Martinez said.

He said he ran upstairs without thinking, grabbing the gun in an attempt to protect his family. He told his girlfriend, Amber Saul, to call the police.

"I told Amber, call the police, in case anything were to happen to me so she would be okay with the kids and everything because I had to go outside," Martinez said.

When he fired the gun, the group from 1619 Villa Avenue was already retreating. Martinez said he only shot to scare, not to kill, so they wouldn't come back to disturb his family.

"I've got a rifle.  If I wanted to, I could shoot them all in the back. I could have shot them all in the back. I can't miss them, there's no way I could've missed these people. So I shot, not to hit them, but right beside them," he said.

The prosecuting attorney then pointed out that Martinez lied to the police when they asked him about it.

He said he lied because he knew he wasn't supposed to have a gun, but he didn't know he'd killed anyone.

Martinez never admitted to police that he had the gun at all.

"Police told you that a girl had been shot and killed, and you knew at that point that it was more than just the fact that you weren't supposed to have firearms," said prosecutor Mark Campbell.

"I didn't even think it was me," Martinez said.

The defense rested after Fernando Jaimes-Martinez left the stand. Court then recessed.

Closing arguments will take place Monday morning, before the jury begins deliberations.
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