Man accused of father's murder says it was ‘terrible accident'

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A man on trial in his father’s murder said it was all a terrible accident.
 
“This is all my fault,” Jiten Patel said.
 
He described for jurors what he said happened the night his father died.
 
His father was shot to death in their Mount Holly home last year.


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Jiten Patel said he was addicted to crack.

He stole money from his family's store to pay for the drugs and had dealers deliver to the store and the family's home.

He said his father got fed up and confronted him. Shots rang out seconds later.
      
Jiten Patel said he didn't mean to kill his father.
 
He said it begin while they were home alone watching TV, when Ashwin Patel realized his son was texting a drug dealer.
 
“All I can remember is him saying, 'I can't take this (expletive) no more'. And then he pulled out his gun," Jiten Patel said.
 
Jiten Patel said he watched his father hold the gun to his own head, as if he were committing suicide. He reached for the gun and then they struggled.
 
"I lost my temper, I said, 'Let me go,’” Jiten Patel said.
 
He said he was afraid his father might hurt him, so when he got a hold of the gun, he fired.
 
"Fear is something crazy.  I was trying to get away,” Jiten Patel said.
 
He said he tried to stop the bleeding, realized it was too late, then wrote a note to his family saying his father was in a better place and he planned to kill himself.
 
"It's because of my stupidity, my wrongdoings. That's why he was so angry,” Jiten Patel said.

He said he planned to do drugs until he overdosed or got caught.
               
Prosecutors dispute his entire story.
 
"Somehow, coincidentally, you end up shooting your dad four times in the head?" prosecutor Stephanie Hamlin said.
    
She said there could not have been much of a struggle, because two of the shots were instantly fatal and one happened while the gun was pressed against Ashwin Patel's temple.
 
"So you want this jury to believe you were trying to get away from a dead man?" Hamlin said.
 
Attorneys say jury deliberations should began early next week.