Selah murder suspect takes the stand, admits lying to investigators

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Murder suspect Michael Gorski took the stand Thursday hoping to convince the jury he didn't kill Carolyn Clift, and admitted lying to police about being at her apartment the night she died.

"I told Rueben Garcia that I had met her and I just dropped her off," said Gorski.

Gorski testified he lied because he didn't want to hurt his family if they found out the truth.

He says he met Clift at a liquor store to buy some gin before going to his girlfriend's house. Gorski told the court Clift asked for a ride home.

"I said no, I've got a place I've got to get to," said Gorski.

But, Gorski said he gave in and went inside her apartment for a drink.

"Carolyn started kissing me," Gorski said.

Gorski revealed they didn't have sex, but there was a lot of touching. He claims he left after 20 minutes and spent the night at home and with girlfriend.

But, the arrest affidavit says something else.

One witness claimed seeing both Gorski and fellow suspect Frank Brugnone outside Clift's apartment ducking between cars.

Investigators say Brugnone blamed Gorski for killing the woman and that Gorski's DNA was found under her fingernails.

Clift's family spoke with KIMA in 2011 following the arrests.

"It kind of brings everything back," said Curtis Clift. "And you're back where you were 14 years ago."

Thursday's testimony was Gorski's last chance to plead his case. His attorney tried to paint him as a family man.

"It's a true image," said Gorski's attorney John Crowley. "It's exactly who and what he is."

Crowley says Gorski had no reason to kill Clift. Ultimately, a jury will decide if he is that innocent family man or a killer.

Michael Gorski's case will be decided by a jury while Frank Brugnone opted for a verdict from the judge.

Prosecutors and Carolyn Clift's family won't comment until the case is over.