UTICA, N.Y. -- The accused killer of an Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy took the stand in his own defense Monday.
Christian Patterson is on trial for allegedly shooting and killing 24-year-old Deputy Kurt Wyman following a standoff at his Town of Augusta home last June. Rather than hearing about that night, jurors first learned more about Patterson's strained relationship with his longtime girlfriend. It was a domestic incident between the two that led to police being called to their home the night Wyman was killed.
Patterson also told the court he has very poor vision that caused some difficulty at work and during his years majoring in criminal justice in college.
"My central vision, my maculas are scarred, so it's hard to focus in directly in the middle of my sight," said Patterson.
"Were you having difficulty reading?" asked his attorney, Frank Nebush.
"Reading, seeing the board," said Patterson.
Patterson's attorney said during opening arguments that his client's vision problems combined with a spotlight used by officers made it hard for Patterson to see the night of the standoff.
He is expected to continue to testify Tuesday.