Francis Plaza said Tuesday he does not remember shooting and killing his wife.
He remembered her laughing, telling him their 19-year marriage was over and that it had "all been a lie."
The next thing he remembered was his wife lying on the bed "and the gun is in my hand," Plaza said.
Plaza, 51, a construction company draftsman and volunteer fireman, is on trial in York County Common Pleas Court on charges of first- and third-degree murder for the July 25, 2009, death of Michelle Plaza, 44, the mother of his three sons. Closing arguments are scheduled for today.
Francis Plaza testified for almost two hours Tuesday in the county Judicial Center. He said he "blacked out" during an argument with his wife in the bedroom of
Earlier in the evening, Plaza said he was "neatening" his chest of drawers before putting away some laundry he had done. He also was deliberating between going to New York to visit his sister and attending a fire training session the next day.
He had left his wife in the living room, where she was filling out a form he believed was a rental application. He said when he asked her about it, she ignored him.
In the chest of drawers was a .357 Magnum Taurus five-shot revolver, he said. Plaza told the jury he kept four rifles and shotguns under his bed for hunting and had another handgun in a safe in the bedroom closet.
He said he took the revolver out of the bureau and was going to put it in the
He testified that, when his wife walked into the bedroom, telling him she was going to take a shower, he tucked the holstered gun under the bed comforter. He said his wife was aware of the firearms but didn't like them. He said he didn't want her to see him holding a handgun because she might think he was upset.
He said he told her they needed to talk about their marriage.
"I thought we were trying to reconcile our relationship," he told the jury. "She was laughing at me when she said it was all a lie. I was crying.
"I reached out to touch her hand and she said don't touch her or she was going to call the cops. I was upset. I was never physical with her.
"She was all laughing in a cynical, sarcastic way. I was angry and she just kept laughing. She couldn't care less. It pushed me over the edge. I never recall getting angry like that in my life.
"She was lying on the bed. I was looking at her. She wasn't moving."
Plaza said he did not attempt CPR because he could tell she was not breathing.
"She appeared dead," he said. "I didn't see any reason for doing CPR."
Plaza said his wife would spend hours on the computer, on Facebook and watching movies. Eleven days earlier, she had left with the three boys and moved them into her sister's apartment.
Plaza said when she moved back the next day, he thought she was open to reconciliation. He said they made love that night. But it was the last time, he said.
He said his wife grew more distant, spending more time on the computer and not talking to him.