Defendant in murder trial: ‘I had to fire one round to stop him'

Franklin Martinez on trial for shooting death of Manuel Lopez


SAN ANTONIO – A 75-year-old man on trial for murder said he feared for his life when the defense presented its case on Thursday.

Franklin Martinez is on trial for the 2015 shooting death of Manuel Lopez.

Martinez took the stand Thursday, testifying that he had felt threatened by Lopez multiple times in the months leading up to the incident.

Martinez said on the day of the murder, he was on his way out when he told Lopez his friends needed to park elsewhere. That’s when Lopez allegedly responded by saying “You don’t own the street” and threw a can at Martinez’s truck.

The defendant said Lopez then started running toward him, and that’s when Martinez pulled out a handgun and shot him in the chest.

“He was raising his voice. He didn’t appreciate being told what to do,” Martinez said. “I had to react. It’s human nature. I had to fire one round to stop him.”

After the shooting, Martinez said he drove off because he needed to get in control and call a lawyer.

Lopez died a few days later.

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