On trial for murder, Ethan Gratton says, ‘Everything went black’

Local News

Murder suspect Ethan Gratton took the stand in own defense Tuesday and said during several hours of testimony, “All I remember is hearing the ‘bam bam bam’ of the gun.”

Gratton is accused of killing David Hill and critically injuring Mark Brito in his driveway in Georgia in January 2017. He’s been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder.

Gratton testified that Hill and Brito had parked their truck and logging equipment on his driveway. When Gratton told them to get off his property, they began to argue.

Gratton says he returned to his home at least once before going back outside, where he wiped mud off Hill’s truck. By then, he was armed.

That’s when Dave Hill snapped. He said you scratched my f—ing truck. My spine jumped out of my back and my heart sunk to my stomach, and I knew I was in trouble, he testified.

Gratton told the jury Hill punched him in the face and “everything went black.”

“I don’t remember pulling my gun out,” he testified. I don’t remember taking the safety off. All I remember is hearing the ‘bam bam bam’ of the gun.

Then, Gratton says, Brito “charged at him” and he fired, shooting Brito in the head.

Franklin County state’s attorney Jim Hughes asked him why he thought Brito was a threat.

He didn’t have a chance to show you what his intentions were? Was he going to comfort his friend? asked Hughes.

“Well if you put it that way he didn’t come out with his hands up, saying, ‘I’m safe’,” said Gratton. You’d think a person who hears gunshots wouldn’t run towards gunshots.

Kelly Green, Gratton’s defense attorney, asked him, Did you think you had killed both men? asked

“I did,” answered Gratton.

Last week, several prosecution witnesses, including Brito and Gratton’s father, Jeff Gratton, too the stand.

Brito’s family says his recovery has been slow. He’s been declared legally blind and has trouble with his hearing.

The trial is scheduled to last all week.

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