ARCHER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — The state rested its case, and the defendant took the stand in his own defense today in the Archer County murder trial of Charles Hunter.

Hunter is accused of being a part of the beating and stabbing death of John Helms in April 2020 on a secluded Archer County road.

Helms was allegedly killed for disrespecting Hunter’s girlfriend by stealing shoes and a hat belonging to her.

On the second day of the trial, a friend of Helms, who was also in the car with the three murder suspects, said during the assault, he heard Helms’ screams getting louder and louder.

When Hunter got back in the car, he was holding an orange knife, and he saw five knife wounds in Helms’ back as they drove off, leaving him in the road.

After the state rested, defense attorney Mark Barber put Hunter on the stand.

Hunter testified he owned the knife, but he had loaned it to Lee Villalpando, who was also charged with the murder.

He said he never got the knife back until the day of the murder, when they got back in the car after the assault, and Villalpando handed it to him.

Villalpando died in September awaiting trial.