A retired East Texas dentist told a jury that he was "in a stupor" and didn't intend to fatally shoot his wife during an argument at their home last summer.
Bobby Ray Nichols is charged with murder as his trial wound down in Tyler. Both sides made closing arguments to the Smith County jury Wednesday afternoon.
Under questioning by prosecutors, Nichols said he only meant to scare his wife of 26 years, Rosalind Nichols, with his 9mm handgun the night of June 29. He said he remembered nothing from that night until the gunshot startled him.
Outside the jurors' presence, Nichols' attorney asked state District Judge Kerry Russell to allow the jury to consider a manslaughter charge. Russell said no. A murder conviction could mean a life sentence.