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Man accused of killing stepfather says he's innocent

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- A man charged with murder for allegedly helping his mother kill his stepfather 36 years ago took the stand Thursday in his own defense.

Attorneys asked Roger Garrett, 55, if he helped his mother kill his stepfather back in 1977, and  if he told anyone about it.

"No, I didnt, he said. 

As the jury looked at a picture of both Roger Garrett and his stepfather, Maj. Chester Garret, he shared stories, telling the jury he looked up to his stepfather.

"I would have thought being accused of murder is the worst thing in the world, but it is not. Losing your father is," said Roger Garrett.

While Roger Garrett appeared calm and matter-of-face, his testimony conflicted with what jurors already heard.

Wednesday, Roger Garrett's brother and ex-wife both told the jury he admitted to the crime. They said Roger Garrett told them he hit his step-father with a baseball bat, and then watched his mother stab him several times.

Chester Garrett's body was found in his Volkswagen in a desert area near Avenue of Americas.

"My brother has been called a con man and a liar, said Roger Garret. 

Earlier in the day defense attorneys tried to depict Patrick Garrett as mentally unstable.

Do you have any difficulty in determining reality from non-reality? attorney Matthew Dekoatz asked him. 

Several witnesses told the jury Patrick Garrett believes in reptilian creatures. His niece Kristen Myerson even said he believes the U.S. president is an "alien" and a "shape-shifter."

But prosecutors compared Patrick Garrett's testimony to Roger Garret's. They said it's credible and the only difference is whether or not Roger Garrett confessed to the crime.

Roger Garrett told the jury his alibi. On the night of his stepfathers murder, Roger Garrett said he was at a friend's house helping with an English paper. He said when he left, he took his brother to the movies. Roger Garrett said he later went back to his friend's house.

Prosecutors question the timing.

"You have the gap from about 7:10 to 10:30. You know this is when we're saying you committed the murder," said prosecuting attorney Kyle Myers.

Garrett said he simply lost track of time at his house, but during his time on the witness stand he did not once mention seeing his stepfather the night of his slaying.

If the jury finds Roger Garrett guilty, he could face five to 99 years in prison.

Roger Garrett's mother, Lisbeth Garrett, is also scheduled to go to trial at the beginning of next year. She is charged with murder.


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