- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A triple-murder suspect said he was arguing with his girlfriend about her infidelity, then began shooting after the woman’s father physically attacked him during the argument, a Memphis police lieutenant testified Thursday.

Lt. Darren Goods testified in the trial of Sedrick Clayton, 31. Clayton is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his girlfriend, Pashea Fisher, 23, and her parents on Jan. 19, 2012. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Clayton if he is convicted as charged.

Authorities say Clayton shot Fisher’s parents in the bedroom of her parents’ house before shooting her in the head near the front door. Police say Clayton then left with his 4-year-old daughter, who was in the house during the shootings, before turning himself in.

Goods questioned Clayton after his arrest. Goods said Clayton was allowed to change his typed statement several times.

Goods testified Clayton told him that the argument began in the early morning, after the couple had sex and Clayton asked her if she had been with another man. Fisher mentioned to Clayton “someone by the name of Jason,” according to Goods’ testimony about Clayton’s statements.

Clayton said he prepared to leave, but Fisher asked him to stay. According to Clayton, he and Fisher then began to tussle near the bathroom, Goods said.

As they argued, Fisher’s father, Arithio Fisher, came out of the bedroom and kicked Clayton in the chest, Goods said Clayton told him. Clayton also said he went to get his gun and fired shots as he entered the bedroom.

Clayton then told Goods that Fisher kept asking him to stay and grabbed his arm. That’s when the gun fired and Fisher was hit, Clayton told Goods. Clayton also fired shots toward Fisher’s brother, who was in the living room but was not hit, Goods testified.

At first, Clayton said he did not know the gunshots had hit Fisher’s father and mother, Patricia Fisher. Clayton said he shot out of fear for his life because he thought there were other guns in the house and Fisher’s father may have been trying to get one, Goods testified.

Clayton acknowledged he also was scared of Goods and he didn’t realize what he had done until he was told by detectives.

“It was the heat of the moment and I panicked,” Clayton said in his statement. “I apologize. It happened out of fear. I didn’t mean to hurt nobody.”

Goods said he became angry with Clayton because of his “cavalier” attitude after the shooting. Goods said he asked Clayton if he was “(expletive) crazy.”

On cross-examination, defense attorney Gerald Skahan asked the lieutenant if it was department policy to ask suspects such a question. Skahan also asked Goods if he thought Clayton was actually crazy when he shot the victims.

Goods said, “No, sir.”

Testimony continues Friday.

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