Murder suspect takes stand in his own defense - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Murder suspect takes stand in his own defense

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Henry Gleaves Henry Gleaves

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man accused of killing a transgender prostitute took the stand Wednesday in his own murder trial.

Henry Gleaves offered his version of what happened the day he shot and killed Sherman Edwards.

Gleaves says he felt threatened by Edwards and fired his gun in self-defense.

On the stand, Gleaves told the jury he came to the Fern Valley Hotel to apply for a job.

As he described the surveillance video from Jan. 9, 2015, Gleaves also admitted to meeting Edwards, whom he thought was a woman, for a sexual encounter in this room.

“When you had the conversation with Sherman Edwards, what sex did you think Sherman Edwards was,” asked defense attorney Scott Drabenstadt.

“A female,” Gleaves replied.

“And why was that?”

“It was a ad advertising female encounters, so I called the ad and set it up.”

Gleaves says when he found out Edwards was a man, he tried to leave but was attacked by Edwards and three others.

“Edwards jumped on my back, and at the same time, Edwards was choking me, too. I spinned like two or three times to try and pry his hands off my neck,” Gleaves said.

“I was marching toward the door trying to get him up off of me, and the other three come in and started hitting me in my stomach like they were trying to take the wind out of me or something.”

Gleaves says they robbed him. He escaped but later returned to the hotel lobby to finish applying for that job.

Gleaves says that's when Edwards and the others threatened him again. That's when he fired a single shot.

“You ended up pulling the trigger, right?” Drabenstadt asked.

“Yes, sir,” Gleaves replied.

When you pulled the trigger, were you trying to kill Sherman Edwards?”

“No, sir, I was not. Just the sudden movement around toward me, I just reacted and defended myself.”

 During cross-examination, prosecutors tried to poke holes in Gleaves’ story.

They want to convince the jury he fired not in self-defense, but in anger.

Related Stories:

Trial begins in 2015 murder of Louisville transgender victim

Witness says suspect Henry Gleaves shot and killed transgender prostitute

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