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Richard Jones said there were concerns his stepson was using drugs and his living within the home was causing tension, Bithell said.
Bithell also said Richard Jones told him that he and his wife drank alcohol that night.
Bithell testified that Richard Jones told him: "I started thinking about my .45 and how much help it could be."
"He felt he just wanted peace," Bithell added, "and just wanted some release from all this, and that’s why he turned to his .45."
During cross-examination, defense attorney Jeremy Delicino asked Bithell if he sought advice from medical staff or inquired about what medications Richard Jones was taking before interviewing him. Bithell said he asked only enough questions to determine if Richard Jones could speak and answer the questions accurately.
Bithell also acknowledged that Richard Jones gave some incorrect answers in the interview, including saying he was still in St. George, giving the wrong day for the shooting and saying he shot his wife inside the house.
Defense attorney Stephen McCaughey said after the hearing that he will attempt to suppress his client’s statements at the hospital, but acknowledged that prosecutors have other evidence.
"He doesn’t remember what happened. Some other witnesses do," McCaughey said. "It’s a tough case."
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