Defendant in Fox executive's murder case regrets trying to hide evidence

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A man on trial for killing a movie executive in 2012 took the stand Tuesday to describe the deadly fight and to take responsibility for attempting to hide evidence afterward.

Defendant John Creech, 44, presented his case directly to the jury, saying he did not bring any weapons when he encountered Gavin Smith, a 20th Century Fox movie executive. Creech is claiming he acted in self-defense.

Prosecutors said the defendant planned the murder of Smith, who was having an affair with Chandrika Cade, Creech's estranged wife. They also claimed Cade and Smith had a four-year on-again-off-again affair.

MORE: Jurors get tour of bloody car in trial over murder of Fox executive

In Tuesday's testimony, Creech claimed Smith threw the first punch, then grabbed some sort of hard object. He also said the former film exec tried to gouge his eyes out.

"When I was hitting him, he would hit me. We were exchanging hits. He was trying to hold me off with one hand, then hit me with the hammer on the left," said Creech.

The prosecution in response questioned why officials did not find a hammer and how nobody noticed facial wounds. They also pounced on Creech's actions after he realized Smith was not breathing. The defendant failed to notify police, rented a storage locker to hide the former Fox executive's car and buried his body in a shallow grave in the Angeles National Forest.

MORE: TV executive Gavin Smith's sons give chilling testimony in murder trial

"I take full accountability for everything after the fact. If I could change it, I would," said Creech.

The judge will provide jury instructions on Wednesday. Lawyers will also give their closing arguments. The jury could get the case in the afternoon that day.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.