CANTON, Ohio – A former police officer accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend told jurors on Monday between sobs that he realized she was dead when he couldn't find her pulse after she suffered a blow to her throat.
"I didn't mean to hurt her," Bobby Cutts Jr. said on the witness stand about Jessie Davis, who was nine months pregnant with his child when she died last June.
Cutts, 30, testified that during an argument at her home, he pulled his arm away and threw his elbow back, landing on her throat. Davis fell down, Cutts said.
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Cutts was at Davis' home to pick up their 2-year-old son and was rushing her so he could leave. Davis grabbed him and told him he couldn't leave, which is when he said he pulled his arm away and struck her.
After several attempts to revive Davis with CPR, Cutts said he went to their 2-year-old child's room to get bleach to try to bring her to because he thought she was just knocked out.
"I got the bleach and took it back to the room and tried to put it under her nose," Cutts said, adding that it didn't work.
"She wasn't responding, I tapped her and she was dead," Cutts said.
He then decided to leave the home and take Davis with him. Cutts said he loaded her body in a comforter into the bed of his truck and called Myisha Ferrell, a friend, for help.
"I decided to leave, I didn't know what to think," Cutts said. "How in the hell am I going to explain this?" Cutts said.
Cutts, continuing to cry on the stand with tissues in his hands, said he was thinking at the time "this is not real, this is not real, it could not be happening. This is a bad dream."
The former Canton officer has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges. Cutts could receive the death penalty if convicted of killing Davis.
Thousands of volunteers searched for Davis until Cutts told FBI agents of the general area where they could find her body near a park nine days after her disappearance.
A medical examiner testified last week that the rate of decomposition from nine days of exposure in the summer heat made it impossible to determine how Davis died.
The move for Cutts to take the stand surprised the courtroom, causing a gasp when lead defense attorney Fernando Mack called his client to the stand.
Prosecutors say Cutts went to her home late last summer, strangled her, then wrapped her body in a comforter, put it in the back of his truck and dumped it in a field of tall grass.
Defense attorneys told the jury during opening statements that no such evidence existed and prosecutors warned that common sense, not DNA evidence, would determine the case.
Prosecutors are relying on eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence in their attempt to prove that Cutts killed Davis, who was pregnant with his daughter.
Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler told jurors that it was possible Davis was strangled but she could not make a definitive ruling. She ruled Davis' manner of death as unspecified homicidal violence.
The case's key witness, Cutts' longtime friend Ferrell, testified that Cutts demonstrated to her that he choked Davis with his arm.
Defense attorneys have not challenged Ferrell's testimony that she witnessed Cutts dumping the body in a park about 20 miles from Davis' northeast Ohio home.
Jurors also heard from another of Cutts' friends, Richard Mitchell, who said Cutts threatened to kill Davis and throw her body into the woods about a month before she disappeared. Mitchell added that he believed Cutts was joking.
Several of Cutts' former lovers, and his ex-wife, testified that Cutts had never been violent with them and was a good father.
Ex-wife Kelly Schaub testified that she believed Davis, who once left her underwear in Schaub's makeup drawer, was trying to destroy her marriage.
Prosecutors have said Cutts was feeling the pressure of his crumbling marriage, financial debt and supporting several children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.