James Love says he feared for his life when he shot and killed 19-year-old Xavier Hartman

GALESBURG, Illinois -- The man accused of shooting and killing a 19-year-old man in rural Galva last June testified on Thursday that he feared for his own life in the fatal altercation.

Read More: James Love found not guilty in first-degree murder of Xavier Hartman

James Love, who faces a first degree murder charge, told the court he got his gun and went outside to investigate after he heard a loud crash on the country road near his home. He said he heard the voices of two men arguing and using profanity, Colyn Glisan and the victim, Xavier Hartman.

"When I turned the light on, they saw me and said, 'who the F--- are you?'" said Love. He said he replied in the same words.

When he looked down at his cellphone to call his wife, who was still inside the home, he said Hartman hit him in the face. He told his wife over the phone to call 911 and then racked his gun and fired a warning shot. But Hartman kept coming at him, he said.

"I was bloody; I was exhausted," Love said. "I'd been hit in the face and I was exhausted from struggling and back peddling and I hadn't stopped him," he said.

Love said he fired two warning shots, and when Hartman wouldn't stop, he shot low at his legs. One bullet lodged in Hartman's lower left leg, the other went through his left thigh and severed his femoral artery and vein.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Amanda Youmans, who performed the autopsy, said Hartman bled to death.

Jurors were sent home after Love's testimony Thursday afternoon. Closing statements and deliberation are expected Friday morning.

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