Joseph Moody Takes The Stand in Bay County Murder Trial - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Joseph Moody Takes The Stand in Bay County Murder Trial

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A man charged with first degree murder hopes to be convicted of a lesser charge.

Joseph Moody made his case before a jury of his peers, Wednesday. Moody turned down a plea deal for a second degree murder charge before the case began. 

Moody faces 30 years to life in prison, if convicted of first degree murder.He is hoping to avoid those charges by convincing the jury that he didn't plan to kill his ex-girlfriend, Megan Pettis, 24, in a busy parking lot last March.

"I thought i was ready to kill my self,” said Moody during testimony.

Moody took the stand, Wednesday and tearfully recounted the series of events leading up to the day he shot his ex-girlfriend.

"I was in a daze, like it wasn’t even really real, like it wasn’t happening," he said.

Moody was in and out of treatment for depression and anxiety in the month leading up to the incident. He was distraught when his relationship with Pettis ended. 
He said he was contemplating suicide the night before the incident, but decided to wait.Then when he saw Pettis' car the next afternoon, he followed her to the Publix shopping center.

"On the way there I'm thinking I'm going to kill myself in front of her, this is what i'm going to do,” said Moody.
“Why would you do that,” Defense Attorney Rusty Shepherd Asked.
“I felt like it would show her how bad I felt, how much pain I had in me."

Soon after, Moody's plan took a different turn.

"I see her car coming down the isle, I realize it’s her car. As she's driving by, I just pulled out a gun and starting shooting.. I don't know why.”

Moody says he was walking back to his truck to find another bullet to kill himself, when a group of bystanders tackled him to the ground. The prosecution called many of those witnesses to the stand, Tuesday.

"There was a guy that kept screaming.. You just shot that little girl,” said Justin Barnes, Witness.
“Did you hear the guy on the bottom.. The one with the gun say anything,” asked Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy.
 "I'd do it again,” he said.

Moody’s testimony depicted a different picture.

"Are you sure you didn’t say that you would do it again?,” asked Sombathy.
“I am 100% sure I didn’t say that, I would never say that,” he answered.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the defense rested their case. The trial will continue Thursday morning with closing arguments, after which jury deliberation will begin.

Click Here to see the story about the first day of the trial.