Richard Combs on night of shooting: `I thought I was going to di - - Columbia, South Carolina

Richard Combs on night of shooting: `I thought I was going to die`

Richard Combs and defense attorney Wally Fayssoux listening to the judge. Richard Combs and defense attorney Wally Fayssoux listening to the judge.

After three days, both the state and the defense have now rested.

But at the end of today's proceedings, Judge Edgar Dickson told the jury the really important phase is about to begin.

On Monday, jurors will likely be tasked with deciding whether Richard Combs defended himself or committed murder.

Combs, the former police chief in Eutawville charged with murder following a 2011 incident with an unarmed man, took the stand in his defense on Friday. 

Combs' defense attorney first questioned the former police chief about a March 2011 traffic stop involving the daughter of the victim, Bernard Bailey.

Bailey eventually confronted Combs about the traffic stop. Combs told the jury that he felt threatened and intimidated by Bailey during the confrontation.

According to Combs, Bailey became angry when he found out the chief could not talk with him about the traffic stop. Combs then told Bailey he had warrant for his arrest. At that point, Combs said, Bailey became extremely mad, then jumped up and took off out of Combs' office.

Solicitor David Pascoe says Bailey was a father, a husband and a brother who was gunned down in an 'absolutely senseless act of violence."

Combs told the jury he told Bailey that he was under arrest two or three times and even called for backup before trying to put handcuffs on him. 

That's when things turned physical, Combs said, and Bailey shoved him away before starting his truck.

Combs said the truck backed up fast and that his left arm was pinned between the steering wheel and door jam. 

According to Combs, he told the jury that he had never been that scared before in his whole life and hadn't been that scared since. 

"I thought I was going to die," Combs said.

Combs then testified that he dropped his handcuffs, grabbed his gun, and ultimately fired the three shots that fatally wounded Bailey. 

Combs said he felt lightheaded after the shooting, almost like he was in shock. At that point, according to testimony, Combs was taken to a hospital via ambulance to be evaluated and treated for an abrasion on his shoulder after the shooting. It was at that point he received information about post-traumatic stress disorder.

Combs told the jury that he does not believe there was anything he could have done at the truck to change the outcome. 

A former Criminal Justice Academy teacher also testified today saying it's his opinion that Combs acted accordingly to his training at the academy. 

Combs faces 30 years to life in prison in connection with the incident.

Trial will resume Monday at 9:15 a.m.

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