Howland murder defendant testifies he was trying to protect himself

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – As the state rested in a high-profile Trumbull County murder case, the defense called Nasser Hamad — their only witness — to the stand.

Hamad is charged in a February shooting at his Howland home that killed Joshua Williams and Joshua Haber and injured three others, including his girlfriend’s son, Bryce Hendrickson.

Friday, the 48-year-old gave his account of what happened that day.

“You snooze, you lose. That’s why there’s no bullet holes on my jeans or any knife wounds,” he said.

Hamad told the jury about the ongoing harassment between his girlfriend’s husband and family. When questioned about the fight that happened prior to the shooting, he said he didn’t recognize any of people who showed up to his property.

He said before grabbing the gun, he was kicked in the throat multiple times and he was trying to defend himself.

“I told them, ‘Don’t move. Don’t move,’ three times and the guy in the front seat actually went down. He was kind of out of my sight. Fired two shots low,” Hamad testified.

Hamad said he was afraid of getting shot himself, even though prosecutors say no other guns were recovered from the scene.

“I wanted to defend myself, somehow,” he said. “You can’t just stay down there. If you do, I would have been dead. My skull would have been crushed.”

In the end, Hamad said he achieved his goal of protecting himself and his girlfriend, Tracy Hendrickson.

The defense also rested its case Friday afternoon. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday morning.