ATLANTA - A Doraville man charged with murdering a former police officer said he was simply defending himself.
Jessie Murray Jr. told police a group of men physically assaulted him, and then shot at him in February 2014 at Benefield's bar on Old Dixie Highway.
Prosecutors believe a different story; they have charged the husband and father with the murder of former Forest Park Police officer Nathan Adams. Police said Murray and Adams got into an altercation that escalated.
Murray went to his car to get his registered gun. His family insists he was the one under attack. They said a group of men targeted him because he was with his white wife.
"He told me, ‘Momma, I thought I would die.’ When they are four or five people at you, what do you do? Fold up or stand your ground?" Wylene Murray McPherson asked.
Meanwhile, Murray's niece believes race was the primary motive.
"If races were reversed, I believe that my uncle would be charged with nothing. If he was a white guy being attacked by five black men it would be justified, Meshia Brown said with a straight face.
Jury selection is expected to wrap up Tuesday. Opening statements are expected by noon.
Murray is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault for the alleged shooting altercation.