BURLINGTON, Ky. -- During opening statements Thursday morning in the case of a former deputy accused of killing his parents in Northern Kentucky, the defense attorney dropped a bombshell.
Michael Moore's attorney admitted to the court the former Warren County Sheriff's Office deputy shot his father -- but said Moore is not a murderer.
Moore's murder trial was delayed Wednesday because some motions remained unresolved. He is charged with shooting his parents, Warren and Madge Moore, in June 2009 inside their home.
Investigators said Moore also shot himself and claimed another person was shooting inside the home.
Defense attorney Joann Lynch told the jury Thursday morning that Moore's parents had been arguing about his mother's OxyContin and that she would share her pills with Moore's father who had asked for a pill that day.
She said when Moore left the room, he heard a pop a little while later and then a thump. He found his mother on the kitchen floor.
She said he then went looking for his father, and when he found him, he was on the stairs motioning toward his waist.
That's when Lynch said Moore was shot in the upper thigh, groin area.
She claims the two struggled over the gun and Moore wrestled it away and fired two shots.
Lynch said Moore made up a story to protect himself and his family's reputation. He threw the gun, which belonged to his father. She said when he called 911, he made up a story about an intruder.
In the 911 call that Moore made on the day of the shooting, he said that one person with a gun wearing a mask came into his home, and he and his father heard a shot while they were downstairs.
911 dispatcher: "How did they get in the house?"
Moore: "All the doors are unlocked, I guess, I don't know."
911 dispatcher: "When did you discover that they were shot? Did you hear it?"
Moore: "I heard a shot upstairs, he and I got up, I saw him go down, and I got shot and I turned around and ran down here."
Moore continually repeated in the 911 call that he did not get a good look at the shooter, seeing him "only from the back."
"Michael did try to cover up what happened on June 12, 2009 and we will concede those charges that go to that," Lynch, said. "He was afraid for himself make no mistake about it because he didn't think anybody would believe him but he was also afraid for the reputation, who yes indeed had done everything they could to help him and support him, telling a tale about an intruder in Michael's screwed up head would somehow save everyone including himself. Well it didn't."
Asst. Commonwealth Attorney Jason Holtz told the jury Moore killed his parents while they were in their golden years.
He said they were high school sweethearts married for 46 years and Moore was the youngest of two sons.
But Holtz told the jury Moore is a disabled, unemployed leech who was hooked on pain pills and took cocaine.
Moore has been in jail since he was arrested four years ago.
During earlier hearings, Moore pleaded not guilty to murder, tampering with evidence, falsely reporting an incident and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Moore also made headlines in 2004 when a grand jury indicted him for taking marijuana from the evidence room and for making meth in his garage.
The trial is scheduled to resume Friday morning.