Murder defendant Derek Connell, accused of killing mother and stepfather, has taken the witness stand

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield man charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of his mother and stepfather took the witness stand Wednesday morning.

Scroll down to read the tweets 17 News sent out from the courtroom while Connell’s testimony was in progress this morning.

Derek Connell, 33, faces life without parole if found guilty of the two counts of first-degree murder with which he’s charged.

The prosecution says Connell shot and killed Kim Higginbotham and Chris Higginbotham, both 48, at their home on Lily Pad Court in northwest Bakersfield on April 30, 2016.

Chris Higginbotham was shot three times, in his neck, chest and shoulder. Kim Higginbotham, a teacher with the Delano Union School District, suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Arrested while leaving the residence, Connell told police he’d been drinking heavily that day and was kicked out of a local restaurant, according to court documents. He said he returned home, fell asleep and when he woke up his parents were dead.

Connell told investigators he probably shot them, the documents and prosecutor Marcus Cuper said.

Connell’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman, has argued Connell suffered years of abuse at the hands of his stepfather. The attorney said Connell shot Chris Higginbotham only after the stepfather fatally shot his mother.

Following are the tweets from Connell’s testimony this morning:

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