Nobody argues with the fact that Rick Morocco Williams shot a couple dead on New Year's Eve in 2010, not even Williams himself.
Wearing a white dress shirt and a dark tie, the 26-year-old North Charleston man took the witness stand in his double-murder trial Tuesday to testify that 58-year-old Nathaniel "Preston" Lonnie and 44-year-old Angela Ferguson threatened his life first. The second day of his trial continued the bizarre narrative that began unfolding Monday -- with testimony about a stolen dog, several sword attacks and hidden drugs.
Williams said he shot the couple, his former roommates at a Durant
Avenue home in North Charleston, on Dec. 31, 2010.
The argument began over a neighbor's dog, Williams testified. He said he took the dog for a walk, and the neighbor became upset and went over to complain.
Williams said his girlfriend, Myra McTeer -- who is also Lonnie's stepdaughter -- called Williams home. The disagreement touched off a spat with Lonnie, Williams testified.
The older man told the younger couple to get out, since Lonnie paid all the bills, Williams testified.
The argument became increasingly heated until Lonnie pulled out a sword and, according to Williams, sliced at him.
"It went straight through my jacket," Williams said.
The men continued the scuffle outside, where Williams smashed the windows and sides of Lonnie's van and threw rocks at Lonnie when he approached again with the sword, Williams said. The younger man eventually called his sister, and his mother drove over to get him.
Williams testified that he hid a gun and some cocaine under a car tire behind a nearby gas station. When his family arrived, Williams told them to take McTeer but that the car couldn't fit them both, he testified.
Williams said both he and his girlfriend left behind some belongings at Lonnie's home, including clothes, shoes, identification papers and a bag of marijuana. Williams testified that McTeer called ahead to see if he could come back to retrieve their possessions.
Once inside, Williams testified that Lonnie attacked him with a liquor bottle and then with the sword. Williams found himself in a corner and pulled a gun from his coat pocket in self-defense, he testified.
When he shot Lonnie in the head, Williams' ears rang with the sound of Ferguson's screams, he testified. She came at him with a box cutter, he said, and after a struggle, he found himself again facing a blade without a safe escape.
Williams shot Ferguson in the head, too.
Williams testified that he moved the sword because he saw it pressing against Lonnie's body, and that he used a piece of paper to lift the blade so as not to leave fingerprints. Williams said he took the box cutter with him to his cousin's house.
A neighbor found the couple's bodies on the floor of their home on Jan. 3, 2011. Police caught up with Williams at a Rivers Avenue motel soon after.
Assistant Solicitor Michael Nelson asked Williams why retrieving clothes, paperwork and some marijuana seemed more important than avoiding an angry man with a sword.
"You didn't have to go back to the house," Nelson said.
McTeer testified that her former boyfriend threatened to "shoot up" the house after the argument and later said, "I took care of it."
Pressed by Williams' defense attorney, Beattie Butler, about why she never called police, McTeer said: "This was someone that I love who did this to people that I love. How can this be true?"
The trial resumes this morning.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or on Twitter at @allysonjbird.