RUSSELLVILLE (KATV) - A murder trial is underway in Pope County for a father accused of killing the man he says was molesting his daughter.
Police say Andrew Cody killed 65-year-old Lee Britton last year. The child at the center of this controversy was 5 years old at the time.
About 30 family members were in the courtroom Tuesday. Half were called by prosecutors, the other half were called by the defense. None would speak with the media.
The majority of the afternoon - three hours - was taken up by a state police investigator's testimony. The prosecution showed two interrogation videos. In them, Cody cooperated and answered all of the investigators' questions after waving his Miranda rights.
At first, Cody was heard denying the crime then confessed to it.
Cody said in the video that he and his wife were separated and she was staying with Britton. He said he had heard allegations Britton had touched children inappropriately before so he asked his daughter if she had ever been touched. She reportedly told him that Britton had rubbed her back, asked to touch her belly then put his hand down her pants.
Cody said his wife told him she wanted to kill Britton but he didn't want her involved so he went into the house with a gun, a long-sleeved shirt to cover his skin against blood splatter and grocery bags over his shoes then shot Britton in the head.
He said that he called police about what his daughter had said first and a physical exam was scheduled but he killed Britton before the exam happened. Cody said that he originally planned to talk to Britton but "lost it" when Britton reportedly referred to Cody's daughter using an expletive. He said in the video that he killed Britton for "my baby and all the other babies in the world he could have done this to."
Police were able to find his clothing and gun after he made a map showing them where it was under a rock at a quarry.
At 4:00 Tuesday afternoon, the defense started questioning the officer who interrogated Cody, focusing on how the officer did not ask Cody if he was ever threatened by Britton.
The trial is expected to wrap up Wednesday afternoon.