Very soon a Spokane jury will be deciding whether Gail Gerlach's shooting of a car thief last year was self-defense or manslaughter.
When they begin their deliberations, they will consider the words from Gerlach himself, who took the witness stand Wednesday and told the jury he fired the fatal round that struck and killed Brendon Kaluza-Graham, and that he fired it in self-defense.
Gerlach claimed he only drew the gun holstered on his hip after he saw Kaluza-Graham stealing his SUV turn in his seat and point what Gerlach thought was a gun. However it was clear prosecutors think Gerlach has embellished his testimony Wednesday to benefit his own defense.
As the defense's last and most important witness, Gerlach told the panel about the morning he walked outside and saw a stranger sitting in his idling Chevy Suburban.
"He sat pretty tall in the seat, he saw me come out and he looked right at me, not very long and then he diverted his eyes," Gerlach said.
Gerlach said he chased the Suburban as it backed of his driveway and then as the SUV moved forward away from his home, the rising sun back-lit the driver as he raised his arm.