Ex-cop Steve Mandell testifies at his own trial

February 20, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Steven Mandell says he was hired to spy on some people, but denied he was part of any murder plot. Defense attorneys called only one witness in the case; Mandell testified in his own defense. He said he never intended any harm to businessman Steve Campbell. He also said knives and saws spoken about on FBI tapes were not going to be used.

"They were all props for a supposed killing that wasn't going to take place," Mandell said.

FBI aerial surveillance followed Mandell and recorded conversations with a witness. But Mandell testified he was lying to that government witness to keep getting paid.

"I was feeding this man's obsession and getting paid for it at the same time,'' Mandell said.

Mandell is accused of plotting to murder a suburban businessman. Jurors heard phone calls Mandell made to his wife after his arrest. Prosecutors say Mandell was instructing his wife to get rid of any evidence.

Mandell testified that he was telling his to make room for her groceries by throwing things away.

Closing arguments take place on Friday.

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