Man Facing Second-Degree Murder Charge Takes the Stand

May 03, 2019 07:54 PM

All of the evidence has now been presented in the trial of 26-year-old Alexander Weiss. Weiss faces one count of Second-Degree-Murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Muhammad Rahim after a minor car crash.

Friday, Weiss took the stand in his defense, but before he did, a forensic scientist with the B-C-A testified about the physical evidence. 

She received a swab from Weiss’s face where he claims he was spat on by Rahim but the DNA found on the swab only matched Weiss himself.

Then it was Weiss’s turn to take the stand. 

Before describing the events that night, he told jurors about obtaining his permit to carry. He said he followed standard procedures and trained at Coyote Creek in Rochester. He said his desire to get a gun came from feeling unsafe. He said he witnessed drug activity at his apartment building, and a dozen fights at RCTC, which he was not involved in.

Weiss said his car had multiple bumper stickers, including one that said gun control means hitting your target.

After a minor collision the morning of January 14, 2018, Weiss said both he and the passenger in the car Rahim was driving got out.

Weiss said he told the passenger he would call the police, but his phone was in the car. Weiss said the passenger was yelling threats like “I’ll make you pay” and “I’ll kill you.”

Weiss described feeling extremely frightened so he grabbed his phone and gun from his car, which he said was left on with the driver’s door open. He said when he turned around the passenger was right there and threatening him.

Weiss said the passenger continued to approach him, so Weiss put the gun in his front pocket. He said the passenger became erratic, so Weiss held the gun at his side and yelled: “Stop I have a gun”. He said Rahim then got out of the car and walked toward him. Weiss said he had trouble calling 911 because he was wearing gloves and couldn’t retreat because his options were blocked.

He claims Rahim spit on his face and continued threatening him and reached for Weiss’s gun, making contact. Weiss said he shot Rahim once in the torso and was “devastated” when he learned during questioning by police that Rahim had died. A video camera captured footage of Weiss putting his head in his hands and crying after being told Rahim was dead.

Weiss said he knew the hollow-point bullets he used were designed to expand on impact to cause maximum damage to a human being. He acknowledged that he was taught that deadly force includes shooting at a person and that he was taught in Minnesota there is a duty to retreat.

During his cross-examination, Weiss said he had reason to fear the other passengers in Rahim’s car. In addition to the passenger that confronted Weiss, there were two female teenagers in the backseat of the car Rahim was driving. Weiss said he had a vision of being knocked out by Rahim or the passenger and that the girls would kick him while he was on the ground. He said during firearm training he was taught to think about all future possibilities, and that he was one against four.

The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. on Monday. The judge will make his final instructions and the attorneys will give their closing arguments. 


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