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‘He brought a gun to a fistfight.’ Final day of trial for man facing first-degree murder charge.

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UPDATE: Local man found guilty of second-degree murder in shooting death of friend

IDAHO FALLS – A man on trial for killing his friend testified in court Friday.

The spectator section of the courtroom was packed full as Marshal Dee Hendricks, 31, took the stand to try and prove to the jury that the shooting death of Rory Neddo was in self-defense. Hendricks is facing charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to his testimony, Hendricks stated he met Neddo while serving prison time for “felony joy riding” and two counts of eluding officers. They reportedly began a friendship and made a pact to support each other through their journey to sobriety. Both men had a significant history of drug use, including methamphetamine.

“We agreed to be positive supports for each other and try to help each other get clean, so we could be good parents for our children,” said Hendricks.

Telling his side of the story from the day of the shooting, Hendricks told the jury that he did not actually anticipate Neddo coming to the house after they spoke on the phone about his alleged affair with Neddo’s ex-girlfriend, Jessica Hendricks (formerly Nielsen). Jessica Hendricks is now married to Marshal Hendricks.

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Hendricks stated that while they were on the phone that day, Neddo told him that he was going to make him “watch as he cut Jessica’s throat”.

Hendricks replied, “If you want to f****** fight, come fight, I’m at Hope’s house,” and hung up.

Hendricks also alleged that he was aware that Neddo had relapsed with meth at this point, reportedly making Neddo a “really dangerous man.”

The defendant stated that he saw a car arrive at the house, Neddo jumped out of it and began coming up the driveway. Hendricks told the jury that he asked Neddo to “just talk about this”, to which Neddo responded, “You’re never gonna talk again.”

“Whatever he was gonna do, he was gonna render me speechless,” said Hendricks in court.

He stated that it was then that he pulled out his gun and pointed it at Neddo, who told him, “If you’re gonna point that gun at me, you’re gonna have to use it.” Hendricks says that Neddo then began shoving him, telling him, “do it, do it, do it.”

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Hendricks and his defense lawyer, Allen Browning, demonstrated this fight in court today, standing in front of the jury while Hendricks demonstrated where Neddo was standing and how he was acting.

According to Hendricks, Neddo reached behind his back, where he was commonly known to keep a gun holstered, and that is when Hendricks shot him.

“I was in a lot of shock,” said Hendricks. “I was just overwhelmed, I don’t really know how to describe that feeling, I’ve never had it before. He had been a close friend of mine. I didn’t want to see anybody dead.”

RELATED | Man cries as he admits to killing his friend

Following Hendricks’ testimony, the prosecution and defense gave closing arguments in the case.

The prosecution closed by stating that Hendricks’ self-defense claim does not meet any of the requirements to legally acquit him from being charged with first-degree murder. They also claim that Hendricks pointed a gun at Neddo’s brother, Jason Wessells after he shot Neddo.

RELATED | Brother of victim testifies during fourth day of Marshal Hendricks trial

“Marshal brought a gun to a fistfight”, prosecuting attorney Russell Spencer said.

Closing statements by the defense argued that even though Hendricks never saw a gun or any other deadly weapon, he didn’t have to in order to claim self-defense. They also tried to convince the jury that Jason Wessells, brother of Rory Neddo, took a gun off of the deceased’s body and put it back in the car after the shooting.

“We are proud Idahoans, and we do not have to run away from people who threaten us”, defense attorney Allen Browning said.

Judge Dane Watkins instructed the jury to begin deliberations, where they will determine a verdict as to whether or not Hendricks is guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

We will update this article as soon as the jury determines a verdict.

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