A Michigan man confessed in court to killing the husband of the woman he was locked in an affair with – but said he'd only intended to scare his victim the night he hit him 24 times with an ax.
"I didn't plan on hurting him, but I just ..." Jacob Ficher said in court, trailing off while speaking about his visit to Ammar Al-Yasari's home the night of Feb. 4, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Ficher and his girlfriend Bdour Al-Yasari are both charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the 35-year-old Al-Yasari's death. Prosecutors say Bdour and Ficher began an affair in the summer of 2018 and conspired to kill Al-Yasari so they could be together.
Ficher has denied his girlfriend had anything to do with the killing, maintaining that he acted alone and that Bdour thought he was just going to talk with her husband, according to local news outlet WILX-TV.
He did say, however, that Bdour had turned off her house's security system so he could get inside and confront Al-Yasari. Ficher testified that once the confrontation began, it quickly escalated into violence.
"All I could hear was my heartbeat, and I just kept swinging," he continued, according to the State Journal.
Ficher struck Al-Yasari 24 times on the head, face and neck with his ax. A county medical examiner previously testified that 17 of the ax's strikes would have been “catastrophic” and "fatal almost immediately."
A police official previously said that "it was an absolutely brutal homicide scene, one of the worst that most of my guys have seen."
"Your intent was not just to kill him, your intent was to brutalize him," Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Bill Crino said during cross examination. Ficher denied that characterization, according to the Lansing State Journal.
But Ficher did say he poured bleach over Al-Yasari's body after killing him and then left through the front door –– later dumping a backpack that contained the ax, according to WILX.
"A discussion wasn’t going to push him away from the actions and the things he was doing," Ficher told the court. "He needed to be scared, and he needed to be really scared."
Ficher told the court that Al-Yasari was abusing and raping Bdour and he hated him for that.
"I made it very clear that I hated his actions," said Ficher, who was an infantryman in the U.S. Army. "Soldiers don't fight because they hate what's in front of them, but because they love what's behind them."
Closing statements in the case are pending as of Tuesday.
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