Ybarra's testimony contradicts confession in SPU shooting trial

Elisa Hahn reports

SEATTLE  - The suspect in a deadly shooting that took place at Seattle Pacific University in 2014 was back on the stand Tuesday.

During his testimony, Aaron Ybarra, 29, seemed to contradict what he had told police right after his arrest. He talked about his motivation for the shooting on the SPU campus, saying repeatedly it was "part of God's plan."

But the day of the shooting and his arrest, he told police someone else was in his head: Columbine shooter Eric Harris.

Ybarra blamed the discrepancy between his past confession and Tuesday's testimony on pepper spray.

Throughout the day, Ybarra spoke freely, from demonstrating to the prosecutor how he held his gun to admitting murder victim Paul Lee looked like a friend named Geron, who had stolen from him. He also seemed to enjoy the fame he has behind bars.

"I didn't expect this really, because I'm the big guy on the news some of the inmates get excited to talk to me," said Ybarra. "I'm really well respected here."

Ybarra is accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Paul Lee and wounded two others. Ybarra has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to first-degree murder and other charges in the case.

Charging papers say Ybarra scouted the campus before he returned on June 5, 2014, with the intent of committing a mass shooting he did not expect to survive.
  
His trial began Oct. 10 and is expected to last two months.

KING 5's Elisa Hahn has been following developments in the trial. You can follow her updates on Twitter at @elisahahnk5 (App users can also click here to view updates on Storify).

Previous coverage:

SPU Shooting Trial - Week 1 - Live blog by Elisa Hahn

SPU Shooting Trial - Week 2 - Live blog by Elisa Hahn

SPU Shooting Trial - Week 3 - Live blog by Elisa Hahn




 

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