PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A man accused of shooting and killing a Panama City Beach man in July 2020 took the stand Wednesday afternoon.

Robert Larry Butler refuted Tuesday’s testimony from the victim’s girlfriend Starla Cooper.

Butler said he killed Samuel Hassler in self-defense.

“He lunged at me and then I shot him,” Butler said.

On day three of his second-degree murder trial, 60-year-old Robert Butler gave his version of what happened on July 30, 2020, the night he shot and killed Samuel Hassler.

“When Sam charges you the second time, it was when you resorted to self-defense?,” Defense Attorney Waylon Graham asked.

“That’s correct,” Butler said.

“And in that moment, in time, what was your steadfast belief inside your heart? What did you think?” Graham asked.

“I thought that they were trying to kill me,” Butler said.

Butler said Hassler’s girlfriend Starla Cooper came to the apartment around midnight that night. Butler said Cooper did her laundry and fell asleep.

Hassler called Butler around 4:30 a.m. in the morning looking for Cooper.

Butler claims Hassler was angry but doesn’t remember much else about the two-minute phone call.

Butler testified Hassler then knocked on his door.

Butler answered with a 7-millimeter rifle by his side.

He said Hassler brushed passed him and walked into the apartment.

“How would you describe his demeanor once he was in the bedroom?” Graham asked.

“Very angry,” Butler said.

“Did you see any similarities in his behavior then, as you had seen in the past when you thought he was on drugs?”, Graham asked.

“I thought, more so. When he came in he was bouncy, he looked him, I thought he was off-kilter as soon as I saw him,” Butler said.

Butler said he was standing outside of the bedroom, still armed with the rifle when Cooper made stabbing motions toward him with a knife.

He said Hassler grabbed the barrel of the gun, they struggled, then Hassler lunged at Butler again.

That’s when Butler pulled the trigger.

“When he lunged at you again why did you shoot him?”, Waylon asked Butler.

“I thought he was going to take the gun away from me,” Butler said.

“Were you in fear at that point in time?”, Waylon asked.

“Fear for my life, yes,” Butler said.

After shooting Hassler, Butler testified he dropped the gun.

That’s when he said Cooper stabbed him in the elbow and the back before he locked himself in a bathroom and called 911.

From Hassler’s call to Butler to the 911 call, six minutes elapsed.

Prosecutors said their evidence proves Butler is guilty.

But Defense Attorney Waylon Graham argued Cooper was too impaired to accurately determine what happened that night.

Attorneys will present closing arguments on Thursday morning. The jury should have the case by noon.