York County District Attorney Tom Kearney did his best to get inside Spencer "Lee" Newcomer's head Thursday during day four of his homicide trial.

Repeatedly recalling the harassment, mental abuse and mind games David Wintermyer -- the neighbor Newcomer killed -- allegedly handed out to him, Kearney kept prodding, "Didn't that make you angry?"

Newcomer, 43, just as continuously replied that it did not.

Kearney reminded Newcomer thought Wintermyer had poisoned his dogs, killed a wild rabbit Newcomer's girlfriend had befriended and posed the carcass in his backyard and had heard him say horribly obscene things to the woman.

"Didn't that make you angry?" Kearney asked again.

It disturbed him, Newcomer said. It bothered him. It annoyed him.

But Newcomer said the last thing he wanted with his neighbor, who he described as unhinged and a loose cannon, was a confrontation.

Newcomer is on trial for first- and third-degree murder in York County Common Pleas Court for the June 10, 2012 shooting death of Wintermyer, 47.

Kearney tried to get Newcomer, who was the first witness called in his own defense, to confess he had enough of Wintermyer and that he "snapped" when confronted by the man one final time in front of their Sylvan Drive homes in Springettsbury Township.

But Newcomer said that, as he backed out of the driveway that day, he knew the conversation with Wintermyer about Newcomer's dogs defecating on Wintermyer's lawn was "inevitable."

He said that was why he stopped when he saw Wintermyer "briskly approaching."

"It was obvious he was waiting for me," Newcomer said. " So, I stopped to see what he wanted."

Newcomer said he did not know what to expect. He said Wintermyer started screaming about Newcomer's dogs. Newcomer admitted he probably also raised his voice in response.

He said because the conversation was not going anywhere, he began to drive off.

Newcomer said he gave Wintermyer the finger in response to a profanity shouted at him and then heard Wintermyer yell, "I'm going over there and get those dogs."

Newcomer broke into tears as he recalled he thought Wintermyer meant "right now."

He said he stopped his truck and got out only to find Wintermyer had been walking behind his truck.

"He said, 'I'm going to fix you,'" Newcomer said. "It was like a growl. He was raging, he was seething."

Again in tears, Newcomer said he grabbed his pistol off the truck seat.

"I thought he was going to kill me," he said.

He said Wintermyer reached into his pocket and he thought the black object he saw coming out was the butt of a gun.

"What did you do?" his attorney, Chris Ferro, asked.

"Fired," Newcomer said.

Newcomer said he thought if he turned his back on Wintermyer to get back in the truck, he would be killed. He said he pulled the trigger until Wintermyer fell and was no longer a threat.

On cross-examination, Kearney continued to press Newcomer for what he was thinking and feeling during the confrontation.

Newcomer said the whole incident took a matter of seconds and all he felt was fear.

Kearney switched tactics and told Newcomer he had convinced himself the shooting was in self-defense because he could not cope with what he had done.

"I thought I was going to die that day," Newcomer said.

"Even today you haven't dealt with your emotions," Kearney said. "Don't you see the anger, sir?"

"No, I do not," Newcomer said.

Follow the trial

Day four of the murder trial of Spencer "Lee" Newcomer IV is to resume at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Follow live coverage at www.yorkblog.com/docket or on Twitter @RickLeeYDR.

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