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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —Jurors could begin deliberations Thursday in the trial of Antioch church shooting suspect Emanuel Samson.
Closing arguments are expected to begin when the trial resumes Thursday morning.
Samson took the stand in his own defense Wednesday. He faces 43 charges, including first-degree murder.
He described to the jury his mental health prior to the shooting. Samson has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and PTSD.
“Waking up, and just wanting to end my life,” said Samson. “I was extremely depressive, and I felt kinda numb.”
Samson taking the stand was a surprise to legal analyst and Nashville attorney Rob McKinney.
“The right to testify, that is his right alone. He makes that decision to testify or not testify under our rules,” he explained. “It could be used to humanize him before the jury, make him a real person.”
When pressed on the crimes he’s accused of, Samson didn’t deny anything but claimed he didn’t remember the shootings.
Prosecutors say though he did show up at the church with a gun, tactical vest, and a mask.
McKinney told News 2, the move for the defense may be to try and lessen the murder charge and shorten any possible prison time.
“Try to aim for a second-degree murder case, that’s not premeditated,” he said. “Lesser time, 15-25. so maybe they’re fighting over years.”
Before closing arguments, the state requested that the jury listen to jail calls between Samson and his girlfriend. Here is the full transcript that was also given to the jury: