Willie L. Scott told a Philadelphia jury yesterday that he remembered smelling gunpowder and dropping a hot gun, but he had no memory of firing up to 14 bullets at his former girlfriend as she sat in her car in a North Philadelphia fast-food restaurant parking lot last year.
"I don't even remember firing the gun," Scott said during the second day of his trial in Common Pleas Court.
Scott, 30, is accused of fatally shooting LaRosa Gonzalez, 24, in front of the couple's 4-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old female friend on the night of Feb. 21, 2009, at the KFC/Taco Bell on Hunting Park Avenue near Clarissa Street.
If the jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder, Scott could be sentenced to the death penalty or to life in prison without the possibility for parole.
Scott, a father of six who had worked in the dietary department at Temple University Hospital, has admitted killing Gonzalez, whom he met while growing up in Strawberry Mansion. They started dating in 2002.
After Assistant District Attorney Lynn Nichols rested her case yesterday, defense attorney David Rudenstein began his case by putting Scott on the witness stand.
Before his testimony, however, Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes denied a request from Scott to fire Rudenstein because Scott wasn't pleased with his defense.
Scott told the jury of a relationship that featured mutual infidelities and face-to-face arguments, but no violence until the night he riddled Gonzalez with bullets.
The couple had broken up and she had moved out about a week before the shooting, Scott said.
He told the court that what brought them together the night of the killing was a call from Gonzalez asking him to meet her at the restaurant so he could take their daughter to his mother's house.
Once in the parking lot, Scott said, things between them became tense.
His daughter told him that she and her mother were staying with a male friend of Gonzalez's. Scott said he did not approve of that.
Scott said he offered to pay for a hotel room for Gonzalez and the girl but she refused the offer. She also mocked him for having been molested by a female first-cousin who bore him a child as a juvenile.
Scott said that information was a secret that he had told her two months earlier and which he had not even told his mother. He said he became upset that she had blurted it out in front of the teenage girl. "I was pretty torn up and shocked because this was not Rose," he said.
The last thing he remembers before dropping the gun, Scott said, was Gonzalez threatening to never let him see his daughter again.
He surrendered several hours later.