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Man accused in teacher's murder claims self-defense

Thursday, June 07, 2012
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A man on trial for murder claims video he shot before the shooting proves he was acting in self-defense.

Two years ago, an elementary school teacher was shot to death outside his home by his own neighbor.

Now we're learning more about the circumstances surrounding that shooting, as the man accused of pulling the trigger faces trial for murder.

Jurors were shown a videotape of the shooting, so it's now up to them to decide whether it's murder or self defense.

On May 2, 2010 just after midnight, you can hear music blaring from a northeast Houston home. Raul Rodriguez walks over with a video camera, flashlight and a gun.

"Why don't y'all turn that down?" Rodriguez says on camera.

"Hey well who are you?" one of the people at the house says.

"I live over here. Turn that down," Rodriguez says.

"Hey don't go hollering at me."

"I'm hollering because you can't hear me."

This argument, over loud music, ends with elementary school teacher Kelly Danaher shot and killed. Rodriguez is now on trial, accused of murder. But Rodriguez says he had no choice but to shoot. Watch as the arguing continues.

"I said stop right now or I will shoot you. Stop. Get back. Get back! I am in fear for my life," Rodriguez says.

Rodriguez says he's pulled out a gun. The men appear to put their hands up.

"I went straight back," one of the men says on camera.

"Stay back. Turn that crap down," Rodriguez replies.

The men look like their keeping each other from approaching Rodriguez. Rodriguez still calls the police.

"Yes my name is Raul Rodriguez. I called again. I had to draw my weapon on somebody because I told them to stop," Rodriguez says.

One of the men says he's going inside to get his own weapon.

"I'm going to have to defend myself. Oh s***! I'm going to have to defend myself," Rodriguez says.

And suddenly, something happens. And the tape ends.

Then shots are fired.

The trial is expected to last through the end of the week. Rodriguez is expected to be called to the stand.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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