NYPD sergeant takes stand in his murder trial

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THE BRONX -

An NYPD sergeant who fatally shot a Bronx woman took the stand Tuesday to defend himself.

Sgt. Hugh Barry testified on what led him to kill 67-year-old Deborah Danner after responding to her apartment in 2016. He told the packed courtroom that Danner was going to swing a bat at him, and he had no choice but to fire his weapon to save his life. Only a few feet separated them, he said, and he told Danner to drop the bat twice.

When defense lawyers asked Barry if he could have used a stun gun to subdue Danner, he said it was not an option and that he had to use his gun; otherwise he'd be hit with the bat. He said the whole encounter lasted only minutes.

The Sergeants Benevolent Association has taken Barry's side, while supporters of Danner maintain that Barry did not follow his training in dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals.

During cross-examination, Barry admitted he did not call for backup and that he did not talk with Danner's relatives about her mental illness before entering the apartment.

Barry is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

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