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Guevara Testifies He Was Scared, Confused

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SMITHFIELD — June 12, 1996 - 3:20 p.m. EDT

A man accused of murdering a Johnston County sheriff's deputy testified Wednesday that he was scared, confused and protecting a child when he shot at officers.

Angel Guevara, answering questions from his defense attorney, said that slain Deputy Paul West held his girlfriend's son, Joshua, in his arms and had a weapon drawn as deputies confronted him. After West "dropped" the boy, Guevara says he became "very upset."

"I took a shot from the hip to scare him away," Guevara testified. He said he was shocked when he learned the shot had hit West.

The fatal blow to West came as the two men struggled, Guevara said.

"There was a big tug of war on the rifle, then it went off," he testified.

Guevara is charged with first-degree murder in West's death, and with seriously injuring West's supervisor, Lt. Ronald Medlin.

West and Medlin came to Guevara's home to verify his name and address for the Raleigh police department, which was preparing an arrest warrant on an assault charge.

Guevara fled to New York after the shooting at his mobile home. He was captured by authorities at a phone booth at Penn Station.

WRAL-TV5's Mark Roberts will have a report at 5 and 6 p.m. on this afternoon's testimony, during which Guevara was expected to be cross-examined by District Attorney Tom Lock.

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