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Wake Jury to Decide Self-Defense or Murder in Mays Retrial

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RALEIGH — Kawame Mays admits he killed a Raleigh police officer, but says he didn't mean to. That's the difference between first and second degree murder and possbily the difference between life an death.

The prosecution has rested, and the defense has begun its case. Mays is charged with the July 1997 killing of Raleigh police detective Paul Hale.

He was tried in May for the murder, but the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. In the re-trial, the defense is introducing witnesses to the shooting who say they didn't know Hale was police officer, until they saw it on the news.

Mays has said all along that he didn't know Hale was a police officer and that he fired in self-defense. Self-defense or murder? That's what jurors will eventually have to decide in the second trial of Kawame Mays.

After four and a half days of testimony and 33 witnesses, the state rested its case.

The testimony this morning focused on Det. Paul Hale's police ballcap. A blood expert testified blood was found on the brim of Hale's hat.

The state wants to prove Hale was wearing the hat when he was shot. Mays has said he did not know Hale was a police officer.

But this testimony implies something different -- that Kawame Mays knew Hale was a police officer when he fired the gun.

Mays is currently serving a life sentence for killing another man, Michael Walker, on that same day. If he is convicted in this case, he could face the death penalty. ,Kay Miller