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Russell Contreras, Associated Press
Defense Attorney Sam Bregman, left, speaks during at a preliminary hearing in Albuquerque, N.M. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, involving two officers facing murder charges while his client, former Albuquerque detective Keith Sandy, right, listens. Sandy and Albuquerque officer Dominique Perez are facing second-degree murder charges in the 2014 fatal shooting death of 38-year-old James Boyd. A judge will decide if they go to trial.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque police detective has testified that an officer charged in the shooting death of a homeless man said the encounter unraveled when the man held two knives and took a defensive stance.

Detective Geoff Stone, the lead investigator in the 2014 shooting, said Tuesday that then-Detective Keith Sandy, one of two defendants in the case, said James Boyd was acting erratically at a campsite.

Stone said Sandy told him he felt officers were in danger because of their position near a hill and because Boyd refused to obey commands.

Sandy told Stone that Boyd placed knives in both hands at chest level and had a defensive posture.

Officer Dominique Perez and Sandy are charged with murder. Stone was testifying at a preliminary to decide if they must stand trial.