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Closing arguments underway after Grooms testifies in own defense; live updates via Twitter and Facebook

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The man accused of hitting and killing a father and son cycling on River Road last year took the stand in his own defense. Thomas Grooms testified this morning in his murder trial. He is accused of killing David and Trey Doolittle last April.

Grooms took the stand after the judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the case.

Grooms said the night before the accident, he met up with a friend named Pat. He said he and Pat snorted a white powder after Pat told him it was not illegal. He then drove her to Hampstead to get more of the powder. Yesterday SBI agents testified lab results showed a powder found on grooms at the scene of the accident was mephedrone, which is more commonly known as bath salts. The drug was not illegal in North Carolina at the time of the crash, but is now. He also admitted he gave Pat $200 for bath salts and made two separate trips to pick it up. Grooms said it had a much bigger effect on him than he thought.

Grooms said his decision to drive home was the worst decision of his life, but he said he was tired, but not impaired while driving home the morning of the accident. Grooms said he was up for more than 24 hours at time of crash.

Grooms denied he ran off the road three times the day of the crash, as other witnesses testified. Instead, he said he only ran off the road once, and that was when he hit the Doolittles. Grooms said witnesses had no reason to lie, but he said they were not truthful about his driving that day. He said witnesses exaggerated in their testimony because they were upset about the Doolittles’ death.

Grooms said he felt “numb” after the accident and didn’t help the Doolittles, because he said if he stood up he felt he would pass out. He said he knew right away that someone he hit had died.

Grooms also told the jury he lived out of his car, which was why there were liquor bottles inside.

After Grooms ended his testimony around noon, his son took the stand.

WWAY’s Katie Harden is in the courtroom. She is providing live updates via Twitter and Facebook. You can follow those updates at twitter.com/wway or facebook.com/wwaytv3.

We’ll have a complete wrap-up tonight on WWAY NewsChannel 3 starting at 5 p.m.

More: continued here

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