Defendant apologizes to families of slain DeKalb Co. officers - CBS46 News

Defendant apologizes to families of slain DeKalb County officers

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The trial continues Wednesday for the man accused of killing two DeKalb County police officers.

William Woodard, 31, took the stand in his own defense Monday, apologizing to the families of the victims, but maintaining his self-defense claim.

Woodard faces the death penalty if he is convicted of the Jan. 16, 2008, shooting deaths of Officers Ricky Bryant and Eric Barker.

Woodard said the officers used excessive force when they snatched him out of a car. He told the jury that he feared for his life.

On the stand he apologized to the officers' families.

"I want to clear this up and say sorry to the Barker family and the Bryant family, and I know how they feel about their loved one. In a way, I can understand and feel their pain," said Woodard.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James hammered Woodard during cross examination. James asked Woodard to explain how he managed to grab his gun, which was in his waistband, load a bullet into the chamber and start shooting while two officers were allegedly beating, kicking and hitting Woodard in the head with a baton.

Woodard told jurors that's what happened. He said he had the grace of God on his side.

The defense will continue presenting its case on Tuesday.

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