Trial Day 3: Zebulum James takes the stand, while defending himself in murder trial

Murder trial for James

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Zebulum James, the Jackson man accused in a 2015 shooting spree, is defending himself in Hinds County Circuit Court.

He is on trial for the murder of Suzanne Hogan at a Shell gas station on Watkins Drive and Beasley Road.

It is day two of the defense testimony and Thursday James takes the stand to try to tell the jury his side of events that led up to that fatal shooting spree in November of 2015.

James told the court he was an excellent student and good person until a psychotic episode at age 16.

He said he also had a child, dropped out of school and had to work.

James said he was not allowed to see his child and all those pressures led to time spent in the Brentwood Behavioral facility.

He admitted to smoking marijuana since junior high school but denies it affected his mental abilities.

The Jackson resident said he stopped taking his medications at age 19... while working and an honor student at Hinds Community College.

“It’s just sad and that’s why I can’t even look up because you know it’s shameful and horrible things occurred that night. I can never take them back,” said James on the witness stand.

James rested his case Thursday afternoon.

The accused shooter challenged Mississippi’s Criminal Jury Instruction after resting his case.

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Faye Peterson allowed the 26 year old to be a part of the decision making process.

He was allowed to amend at least two instructions.

He also objected to several state instructions and was granted two of those.

Jury deliberations begin Friday.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.