Jason "Blu" Griffith took the witness stand in his own defense in the murder trial of his former girlfriend, Debbie Flores Narvaez, on May 14, 2014. (Lindsay Curtis/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5/AP) -
The man on trial in the slaying of his Las Vegas Strip dancer girlfriend took the stand in his own defense Wednesday.
Jason "Blu" Griffith waived his right to remain silent and was sworn in just after 2:15 p.m.
Griffith is accused of killing and dismembering his girlfriend, Debbie Flores Narvaez, in December 2010. His attorneys claimed self-defense in the killing, citing a violent history with other boyfriends.
On Wednesday, defense attorneys began calling witnesses, mainly Narvaez's former boyfriends, about their relationship with her.
Griffith, also a dancer, described Flores Narvaez as clingy and violent.
"It became like cabin fever. When I wasn't on stage, she was there. It was getting a bit much, so I started to pull back," he said.
Griffith described his relationship with Flores Narvaez as casual, but said she was constantly pressuring him for a more serious relationship. He said she would constantly show up at his house uninvited.
"It escalated to 30 text messages a day, 40 phones calls a day. It was almost laughable how many phone calls were coming in," Griffith said.
Griffith described an incident in which, he said, Flores Narvaez hit and choked him before locking herself in his bedroom and refusing to come out.
"She started pushing, poking, grabbing my collar. I said, ‘Look, get off me or I'm going to call the police,'" he said.
Griffith did end up calling police, and the jury listened to an audio recording of his call. Griffith told the jury he didn't tell the 911 operator Flores Narvaez hit him because he was embarrassed and didn't want her to get in trouble.
The jury also heard another 911 call from an incident in which Griffith claims Flores Narvaez tried to force her way into his home, smashing a window with her fist in the process.
"My girlfriend came to my house, punched a hole in the window. She needs to go," Griffith said.
The voice of Flores Narvaez could clearly be heard on the recording, calling Griffith a coward.
Flores Narvaez's parents were in the courtroom on Wednesday, but showed no emotion.
Testimony is set to resume Thursday morning.
Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday after Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney ruled the jury hadn't seen evidence supporting a self-defense claim.
Copyright 2014 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Thursday, August 21 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-08-21 05:54:23 GMT
Las Vegas nonprofit hospital University Medical Center (UMC) on Wednesday afternoon announced it is eliminating a number of services to save money.More >
Las Vegas nonprofit hospital University Medical Center (UMC) on Wednesday afternoon announced it is eliminating a number of services to save money, which will result in the loss of about 285 positions. More >