Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

Harris Claims Self Defense in Testimony

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — The man charged in a three-year-old Columbus murder says he only fired in self defense.

Ranzino Harris, 25, told a Lowndes County jury Thursday afternoon that he was afraid of Justin Murray when he fatally shot him in the chest at a home on Schoolhouse Road in May 2010. Michael Brewer also was injured in the shooting.

Murray had broken up a dispute between Harris and a woman at the home and Harris left and came back armed. He said he had left his cell phone in the house and wanted to get it back.

But rebuttal witnesses said no phone was recovered and that Murray was shot from several feet away while standing in the middle of the living room.

The jury will hear closing arguments Friday and begin deliberations. He faces life in prison if convicted of murder.