Murder suspect takes the stand in New Hanover County Court

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Murder suspect, Aaron Stephens took the stand in his New Hanover County trial Wednesday afternoon.

Stephens is accused of killing Terry Greenwood and injuring Anthony Lanza in 2017.

Stephens said in court on the night of March 21, he was only trying to protect himself from two people who followed him that evening, one of whom he said had threatened him for weeks.

The night of Greenwood’s death, Stephens said he had challenged Greenwood to a fight behind a gas station after Greenwood sent threatening texts. Stephens said Greenwood followed he and his friends throughout the rest of the night.

Stephens admitted he had three guns, one in his house, one with a friend, and one in his car though he was barred by law to do so after serving time for possessing marijuana in the 90’s. One of those guns was still in his car the night of March 21, 2017, when Stephens said Terry Greenwood and Anthony Lanza parked near his home, and when he walked outside, they revved the engine and drove past him.

Stephens followed the men to a cul-de-sac in the neighborhood. During an altercation, Greenwood was shot and stabbed several times.

Stephens is charged with first degree murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Doctors say after the shooting, they found meth and cocaine in Stephens’ system. Stephens said he was not under the influence, and the meth was unprescribed Adderall.

The state says a text Stephens sent earlier in 2017 to a friend asking for Greenwood’s address, saying Terry wouldn’t meet with him, and he’d just have to be patient could show signs of premeditation.

The trial resumes Thursday at 9 am.

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