BENTON, LA (KSLA) - A 42-year-old Haughton man accused of fatally shooting his onetime close friend and longtime co-worker now is on trial on a charge of second-degree murder.
It has been just more than three years since the violent encounter played out on the eve of Good Friday in the normally quiet Madison Place subdivision in south Bossier City.
Patrick Harris, of the 7600 block of Redwood Circle, insists what happened about 10:30 p.m. March 24, 2016, was a classic case of self-defense.
An audio recording of his statement to police just hours after the fatal shooting was played Wednesday in the Bossier District Court courtroom in Benton.
In it, Harris can be heard claiming it was 40-year-old Chris Flowers who attacked and wrestled him to the ground.
Harris recalls being afraid because Flowers already had choked him out (unconscious) on two previous occasions.
And Harris says that’s why he pulled out his .38 Special and shot Flowers five times.
That shooting culminated two years of a very rocky relationship between the two men ever since discovering Flowers reportedly had an affair with Harris’s wife.
Then, despite asking their employer to reassign them to prevent them from having to work side by side, Harris said they were told to work out their differences between themselves; which they did for the next two years before the fatal shooting.
Also in his recorded police statement, Harris declares: “I shot him. I feared for my life.”
Then later, apparently fighting back tears, Harris continues his statement.
“This is not my character. My character is not to shoot someone.”
But prosecutors painted a much different picture of that night and of Harris’s demeanor.
They called a witness who described stopping his car right in front of what then was Harris‘s house in the 200 block of Melissa Lane shortly before the shooting.
That driver, Daniel Wayne Lenard, testified that Harris approached the car and told him: “Did you want to get shot? It’s a good way to get shot. Then, do you want to get shot tonight?”
Lenard concluded that just minutes after leaving the scene he got a call about the shooting in front of Harris’ house.
Testimony was scheduled to continue Wednesday afternoon.