Frias testifies he killed in self-defense in trial Thursday

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls man on trial for murder testified he killed a man in “self-defense.” 

Manuel Frias is on trial for first-degree murder at the Minnehaha County Courthouse.  Authorities allege Frias shot and killed Samuel Crockett during a failed drug deal in January 2018. 

On Thursday, Frias testified he struggled with Crockett over a gun Crockett pulled out inside a Rice Street apartment hallway. The struggle spilled outside when Crockett opened fire, killing Corey Zephier. 

Frias said he shot Crockett because Crockett was shooting at him. Frias said he then panicked and left without offering any aid or CPR to Zephier or Crockett. He said he didn’t call 911 or wait for law enforcement because he didn’t think they’d believe what he said. He says he shot Crockett in self-defense. 

The 28-year-old Crockett died at a hospital. The 30-year-old Zephier died at the scene of the shooting. 

The defense has rested in the case and the state will be calling rebuttal witnesses as the trial continues. The closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.

Stay with KELOLAND News for more coverage on this trial.

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