Defendant Takes the Stand in Columbia Murder Trial

After 15 days of testimony, the defendant in the case, William Henry Meece, was called to the witness stand today to tell jurors he did not kill Joseph Wellnitz, his wife Beth and son Dennis at their Columbia home in 1993.

Much of this afternoon was taken up by testimony from Meece.
He said he'd been at the Wellnitz home the night before the murders and twice after the murders helping Meg move out, but he was not there the night the family was killed.

Meece testified he was a nerdy kid who was picked on a lot while growing up in Florida. He said he saw his move to Lexington, Ky., as an opportunity to reinvent himself, which he often did by making up stories and telling people he was involved with the CIA.

Meece also testified that he once confessed to killing the Wellnitz family, then later recanted his story, only to get a new public defender and a new trial. Meece testified he made the whole thing up.

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