Billy Norbury, who is on trial in Ukiah on murder charges, told investigators he didn't know Mendocino County reggae musician Jamal Andrews and did not shoot him to death.
"Why am I here? I don't even know who that guy is," he told Sheriff's detectives in an interview taped shortly after the killing in Redwood Valley Jan. 24 and shown to jurors on Wednesday, the second day of his trial. However, other evidence presented Wednesday linked him to the crime scene.
Norbury has continued to deny killing Andrews since that early interview, said Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster, who is prosecuting the case.
The defense is "I didn't do it, I wasn't there. If I did do it, I was insane," he said during a break in the trial.
If convicted, another trial will be held immediately to determine whether Norbury was insane at the time.
Norbury's estranged wife said in 2011 court affidavits that he is irrational and suffers from paranoia. He thought people were following him and listening to his conversations through the television, phone and car radio, she said in court documents while seeking custody of their three children. She later sought a restraining order against Norbury, who also has a history of substance abuse.
Norbury, 34, is accused of driving an all-terrain vehicle to Andrews' home and shooting him twice, once in the front of his shoulder and once in the back of the head, apparently as he tried to flee.
The shot to the head from the high-powered Winchester 30-30 hunting rifle killed him instantly, a forensic pathologist testified.
It was the third time Norbury had made a late-night visit on an ATV to the home Andrews shared with his longtime girlfriend, Miranda Mills, and their infant son, Kaiden, Mills said.
The reason for his visits remains a mystery.
Mills said they had never met Norbury until he showed up inexplicably at their home about three months before the shooting. She said it was unclear what he wanted but he'd apologized during the second visit, saying he had been drunk previously. She said Andrews and Norbury then shook hands.
On Wednesday, prosecution witnesses presented evidence that undermined Norbury's claim he was not at the crime scene. He'd initially told detectives he had never left home that night. But witnesses placed Norbury at a bar just before the shooting, according to police.
Sheriff's detectives testified the engine of Norbury's ATV was still warm when they arrived at his grandparents home, where he lived. They also found a recently fired Winchester rifle with an empty shell casing that matched two found at the crime scene.
The marks left on all three shells in the firing process matched and apparently were fired from the Winchester found at Norbury's home, State Senior Criminalist Deborah Enns testified.
The trial continues Thursday. It is expected to last about three weeks.
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda.an- firstname.lastname@example.org.