OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The man charged with killing an Auburn officer and wounding two others will take the stand and testify in his defense.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon as the defense began presenting their case. Prosecutors rested their case on Wednesday. 

32-year-old Grady Wilkes is accused of strapping on this bulletproof vest and helmet wielding an AR-15  in the deadly shooting of Auburn Officer Will Buechner and wounding Officer Evan Elliott and Webb Sistrunk. 

Wilkes’s girlfriend testified he choked and threaded to kill her. When officers went to go talk with Wilkes, so she could pack a suitcase and leave, jurors saw Wilkes open fire on the officers via their body cams.

Buechner was shot and killed in 2019 outside a mobile home at Arrowhead Trailer Park in Auburn.

Following his arrest, investigators testified Wilkes guided them to where he used leaves to cover his bulletproof vest, helmet, and rifle with a laser target designator – which illuminates a target. 

Investigators recovered more than 20 fired cartridges. Jurors learned Buechner was struck twice severing his spine and puncturing his lung. Through Buechner’s body cam – jurors heard him utter his last words “Lord, please help me” as he struggled for air – and died. 

The defense doesn’t dispute Wilkes pulled the trigger but claims he’s not guilty because of mental disease or defect, and he suffers from a laundry list of mental health.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.