Local News

Mays Takes the Stand in His Own Defense

Posted May 17, 1998

— Many in a Raleigh courtroom were surprised when the man accused of fatally shooting a Raleigh police officer and another man took the stand in his own defense Monday afternoon. Mays testified about events that took place on the day the shootings occurred.

The defense had just begun to present Kawame Mays' side of the story. Mays is the man accused of killing Raleigh Police Detective Paul Hale and Michael Walker. The trial is in it's second week.

Mays, 19, was soft-spoken and polite on the stand, and appeared to be remorseful as he testified late in the afternoon. He seemed more like a scared teenager than a man accused of two murders.

"I don't know why I did it," Mays testified. "It was stupid. I didn't mean to shoot anybody."

He said, as he has all along, that he only meant to frighten, not kill, Walker, and that he did not know Hale was a police officer. Rather, says Mays, he thought he was being approached by men seeking revenge for Walker's death earlier in the day. He said he didn't know Hale was a police officer until he heard the words "officer down".

Prosecutors wrapped up Monday morning with testimony from Raleigh officers who were on the scene during the aftermath of the shooting.

Three officers testified about their attempts to save Hale's life, and about seeing Hale's ball cap on the ground. Mays and some other witnesses have said Hale was not wearing his cap that day. The importance of that is that Mays' attorneys say the suspect was not aware that it was a police officer he was shooting at, because Hale wasn't wearing anything that identified him as an officer.

The defense will continue presenting its evidence Tuesday morning at 9:30. Defense attorneys say they will put some experts on the stand who can call police procedure in this case into question.


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