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Fair Testifies In His Own Defense

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RALEIGH — The man accused of killing a popular Wake County educator and assuming the victim's identity told his side of the story in court Wednesday.

Nathaniel Fair took the stand around 11:30 a.m. after the defense called two witnesses with technical information.

Fair says he was high on crack cocaine when he met Reubin McNeill at Our Place, a Raleigh adult book and video store last August.

Fair's attorney, Tommy Manning, sought first to establish that his client had a pattern of drug use.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile. Manning:"Can you tell the court and jury whether you used crack cocaine again after, after your birthday in November 1997?"Fair:"I never stopped."

Fair says he briefly met McNeill once before in an adult book store. He says this time, they did more than just talk.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile. Fair:"We had already made up our minds when we left the establishment that we were gonna, uh, get together, uh... "Manning:"What did you say to him that you wanted to do with him?"Fair:"Be with him."Manning:"Be with him? What does that mean?"Fair:"That means sex."

Fair says McNeill took him in his green Ford Explorer to west Raleigh, where Fair would get crack in exchange for having sex with him.

Fair then told the court he got into a knife fight with a crack dealer named T-Bone over money he owed. Fair says McNeill tried to save him.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile. Fair:"He turned over and started attacking Reubin."Manning:"What happened then?"Fair:"He swung the knife and stabbed Reubin. Then he fell."

Fair then admitted he took off in the Explorer while the drug dealer allegedly continued his attack on McNeill.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile. Fair:"Why did I do it?"Manning:"Yeah, why did you leave him?"Fair:"I feared for my life. I thought the guy was coming after me."

Fair said he was high on crack for almost a year before meeting McNeill and said he began selling his body for drugs in April 1998.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile. Manning:"And can you tell the court and jury from the first time in April until August how many occasions there were when you exchanged your body for drugs or money?"Fair:"How many times?"Manning:How many times."Fair:"About seven, eight."Manning:"Seven or eight?"Fair:"About seven or eight."

Fair testified that the night they were together, McNeill tried crack cocaine with him.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile. Fair:"I reached and I grabbed a lighter and I showed him how to smoke it. I told him to hit it slowly and he followed my instructions."Manning:"Did he ever get it right?Fair:"It appears that he did."

During his testimony, Fair seemed to have trouble answering some of his attorney's questions and appeared sluggish.

The prosecution gets their turn at questioning Fair on Thursday.



Len Besthoff, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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