Mays Takes the Stand for Second Day in Double Murder Trial
Posted May 18, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — A confessed murderer testified on his own behalf for a second day Tuesday, trying to convince a jury he shot a police officer in self-defense, and that he only intended to scare his other victim.
Kawame Mays is accused of killing Raleigh Police Detective Paul Hale and another man, Michael Walker.
It is very unusual for a defendant in a murder trial carrying a possible death penalty to be put on the stand. The most common reason for an attorney to do so would be to convince a jury of his client's humanity.
Tilmon and Kevin Golphin, who were just sentenced to death last week in Cumberland County for killing to law officers, were successfully portrayed as cold and remorseless. Mays' attorney wants to show that his client is sorry for what he did.
Mays underwent intense cross-examination for an hour-and-a-half Tuesday morning. Prosecutor Colon Willoughby repeatedly asked Mays the same few questions. Mays' answers never changed.
He admits he shot Walker on Quarry Street, and later Hale on Lenoir Street on July 11, 1997, but in statement after statement, punctuated by "yes sirs" and apologies, Mays says he never intended to kill either of the two men.
He says he was defending himself when he shot Hale, thinking Hale and another officer were friends of Walker who wanted revenge.
"I mean, I didn't mean to shoot Michael Walker, sir," Mays responded to Willoughby. "And, I was scared so I was just trying to defend myself at Lenoir Street, so I didn't know it was a police officer."
Willoughby talked at length about Mays' statements to police at the time of his arrest. He says there are inconsistencies between those statements and what Mays is saying now.
The jury listened to a tape recorded statement from Mays, made at the time of his arrest.