ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley has taken the stand in his murder trial.

KMOX’s Brian Kelly reports Stockley testified that he and his partner both saw Anthony Lamar Smith’s hand on a silver revolver on the passenger seat of the car, and after Smith’s car backed up toward the police cruiser, Stockley felt his life was threatened.

He told the judge he would have been justified then in using deadly force.

When asked by the defense attorney if he placed the gun in Smith’s car, Stockley answered, “Absolutely not.”

The defense’s only other witness, who was in a nearby store, testified that he saw two officers struggle at the driver’s side door and step back, the witness said, as if startled.

The witness said he saw Stockley pull his weapon and shoot into the car.

Prosecutors will begin cross-examining Stockley after lunch.

Stockley is accused of killing Smith, a drug suspect, after a three-mile police chase through city streets.

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