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Okla. Pastor on Trial for Fatal Shooting of Son-In-Law Takes Stand in His Defense

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By Morgan Lee , Christian Post Reporter
March 6, 2014|1:53 pm

Oklahoma City pastor Michael Elder who is on trail for the fatal shooting of his son-in-law last February will testify in his defense this week.

Michael Elder (Photo: News Channel 4 Screenshot)

Oklahoma pastor Michael Elder is accused of shooting and killing his estranged son-in-law, Gary Davidson, in February 2013.

Elder, the pastor of Cross Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, allegedly shot Gary Davidson, 27, multiple times while Davidson and his wife, April, struggled for control of a truck that she was driving. She told police that she had driven away after her husband had refused to give her their daughter.

According to NewsOk, Davidson and April were separated at the time of his death. Gary's mother has also claimed that her son's relationship with Elder had soured much earlier than the day of his death.

Beverly Davidson testified that she spoke with Elder over the phone several days before her son's death.

"Why are you [at my son's house]?" Davidson asked.

Elder responded to her, "I'm standing here protecting the property with a gun in my pocket."

"But they're still married," protested Davidson.

 "Not after today," said Elder.

According to a NewsChannel 4 report, after April and Gary's marriage began to disintegrate, Elder teamed up with Steven Kirby, a church member and convicted felon, seemingly to support his daughter.

The prosecution has alleged that Elder subsequently began texting Gary threatening messages.

In one exchange Gary told Elder that he had "a one-sided story."

"I can see how you would feel threatened since you like to scare women," Kirby replied.

Legal expert Jacqui Ford told the station that the jury will likely have to take into account not only what happened on the day that Davidson died, but events leading up to the incident.

"Often times what happened on this very specific day isn't the only thing that's important," she said. "The relationships and what happened and what built up to this incident becomes relevant."

Ford added, "It becomes difficult for the lawyers to be able to piece together the evidence as they want to present it," because people often will delete or dispute sending text messages.

 

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