A Battle Creek man charged with murdering a man and hiding the body in a car’s trunk says his actions were in self-defense.

WWMT reports that Marko McGee was in Calhoun County Court on Wednesday for a preliminary examination on a charge of open murder in the death of 43-year-old Diabulo White in May. Police testified that McGee told them his home on Somerset Ave. was broken in to in the early hours of May 19, by a man in a mask with a gun. McGee and the robber got into a scuffle, and McGee managed to get the gun away from him and also grab a hammer, which he used to hit the robber in the head.

McGee reportedly became “enraged” when he removed the assailant’s mask and found it to be White, someone he knew. He says he dragged White’s body into the trunk of the car he arrived in, stripped him naked, and dumped gasoline on him; at one point he had planned on setting the vehicle on fire, but instead he left it parked on Helen Montgomery Ave to “send a message”.

The vehicle was towed, and White’s girlfriend discovered his body when she went to pick up the car from Tiger’s Towing on Kendall St.

This preliminary examination is set to continue at a later date, to determine if McGee goes to trial.