Accused Killer Takes the Stand

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An accused cop killer took the stand Wednesday afternoon at his murder trial in Northampton County.

George Hitcho Junior of Freemansburg explained to the jury why he shot police officer Robert Lasso, claiming is was self defense.

Hitcho told the jury he thought the officer was someone else who was trying to break into his home.

A jury at the Northampton County Courthouse listened to the third day of testimony in the capital murder trial.

Police said Hitcho shot and killed Freemansburg Police Officer Robert Lasso last August when Officer Lasso was responding to a domestic dispute between Hitcho and a neighbor, but when Hitcho took the stand in his own defense he told the jury a much different story.

Hithco claims when Officer Lasso arrived he was about to let out his dogs.

That's when he heard a loud banging on his back door. His home had been burglarized recently and he was afraid the noise was a burglar. He heard someone yell, "Open the door or I am going to shoot you and kill your dogs."

At that point, Hitcho said, he was afraid for his life.

He then heard someone say, "Shoot 'em."

He grabbed his shotgun and fired.

The defense is arguing that Hitcho believed his life was in jeopardy.

The Northampton County district attorney said he is seeking the death penalty in the death of Officer Robert Lasso.

The defense is expected to call more witnesses Thursday and the district attorney said the trial could wrap up by the end of the week.