Jurors hear Montgomery officer’s claim about fatal shooting

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OZARK, Ala. (AP) — Evidence shows a white Alabama police officer charged with murder in the shooting of a black man told an investigator he opened fire after the man swung a pole at him.

Prosecutors on Wednesday played jurors a recording of a statement made by Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith about the death of 58-year-old Greg Gunn.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Smith initially told an investigator that Gunn swung a painting pole at him before he opened fire. Prosecutors say Smith’s story changed over time, leading to a murder charge.

The defense portrays Gunn as being on cocaine and presenting a threat to Smith.

The shooting happened in February 2016. The trial is being held in the south Alabama town of Ozark after a judge moved it out of Montgomery.

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