Man charged with attempted murder of Huntsville police officer takes the stand

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Kuponiyi on the stand Wednesday during his trial. (Photo: David Schmidt/WHNT News 19)

Kuponiyi on the stand Wednesday during his trial. (Photo: David Schmidt/WHNT News 19)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Olusola Kuponiyi took the stand for the first time, on Tuesday morning. He is accused of the attempted murder of Huntsville Police Officer, Jonathan Sallis in August 2013.

Kuponiyi told the defense he had cocaine, marijuana and laxatives in his system during the week of the alleged incident. Kuponiyi said the cocaine and marijuana helped relax him.

He claims while he was in the parking lot waiting for a neighbor to be dropped off, he saw, what he called a motion, behind his car. Kuponiyi claims that just moments later Officer Sallis appeared and questioned him about what he was doing there.  Kuponiyi says it wasn’t confrontational at first, but says Officer Sallis instructed him to get out of the vehicle.  Kuponiyi said he wasn’t feeling well, from being constipated, and when he didn’t exit the car fast enough, Officer Sallis said “Hurry the hell up.”

Kuponiyi said he was pinned on the ground. He claims Sallis had a knife in his right hand and tried to cut his face; Kuponiyi said at first that he just laid there, then changed his story saying he moved to his side to block the knife. At that moment he saw Officer Sallis’ pepper spray fall to the ground and the officer reach for his gun.  Kuponiyi crawled to get the pepper spray and sprayed in the officers direction, claiming “I was scared in that moment.”

Kuponiyi says the officer never pulled the gun from his holster, but his hand was on it. Kuponiyi claims he never tried to reach for Officer Sallis’ gun.

Kuponiyi says he was not fighting the officer at any point, but there was a struggle to get away.

The defense motioned for the case to be acquitted on the attempted murder charges, saying the state had not found any evidence that Kuponiyi was trying to hurt the officer, Judge James Smith denied that motion.

Court is in recess until 1 p.m. Closing remarks will take place and then the case is expected to go to the jury.