Defense blames drugs, family issues for shooting of Logan Co. deputy

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LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. - The defence began their argument today in the trial of Nathan Leforce, the man accused of shooting and killing Logan Couty Deputy David Wade in April 2017.

On Thursday, witnesses dove into Leforce's past of addiction and talked about the reasons why he could've been regularly using methamphetamine.

The defense argues the main reason is Leforce losing custody of his kids.

One witness, a child welfare investigator, spoke about the moments she investigated the Leforce family.

Noting the main concerns were "drug use, an unstable home life, and an altercation between Nathan and the children's mother."

She says they first started investigating when they heard reports that the Leforce children were not attending school, but also testified that would not normally be a reason to remove kids from the home.

Perry police accompanied the investigator to Leforce's home at the time.

She noted that when they were having a conversation with Leforce, he was at one point "twirling a knife around" and when he was asked to put it down he "stabbed it into the table."

When asked if she had "a great fear of Nathan Leforce" she said yes.

A previous Perry police officer then took the stand to talk about his multiple interactions with Leforce.

He told the jury, from what he knew, Leforce in the past had pointed a gun at a police officer but was never arrested.

He also described his first encounter with Leforce as "combative" and "verbally aggressive."

Later during testimony, one of Leforce's friends took the stand and talked about Leforce's relationship with police, saying he always felt "harassed" by law enforcement.

He says the Perry police would "look for any way they could to pull us over," and added, "we really didn't like being pushed around."

He went on to say Leforce's "children were his whole life."

Staff with the Perry Church of the Nazarene testified about a time when Leforce was seeking help with their Celebrate Recovery program.

They commented that originally, they saw Leforce as a man who was "really trying to get help, and get better."

The program minister says Leforce consistently attended for a while, but when Leforce lost custody of his children he saw "a guy that was hurt and troubled."

The pastor at the church also added Leforce's "demeanor" completely changed after "losing his children."

Lastly, an attorney who had previously represented Nathan Leforce took the stand.

At one time he described himself as feeling like "Nathan's older brother."

The attorney says he tried to get Leforce through many tough times in his life, especially regarding the custody of his children.

He would help Leforce financially and says they would "go grab breakfast" normally.

He was emotional on the stand when he said Leforce "can be really friendly, then he would be edgy."

He also testified that he spoke to Leforce around eight in the morning the day Deputy Wade was shot and killed.

Over the phone he said Leforce seemed "frantic and edgy" and kept talking about "wagon wheels" which the witness says didn't make sense to him.

He says he had a prior commitment and wasn't able to help Leforce that morning, and the next time he saw Leforce was on television.

He says he remembers leaving a voicemail and text to Leforce saying, "please turn yourself in."

He told the judge he let authorities know about his conversation with Leforce that morning.

The defense is expected to call more witnesses Monday.

The state is seeking the death penalty in this case.

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