RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City police officer says several witnesses to a motel parking lot slaying have told consistent stories about manslaughter suspect Charles Birdshead being assaulted in his car by the victim.

But the Rapid City Journal reports that Police Detective Steve Neavill also testified Thursday during Birdshead's trial that the car was in gear and Birdshead could have driven away if Eustacio Maruffo was assaulting him.

Birdshead is on trial in the Jan. 7 death of Maruffo at the South Dakota Rose Inn. Authorities say Maruffo died of a shotgun blast to the chest during a botched drug deal. Birdshead maintains he was lured to the motel for a beating and that he acted in self-defense.

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