PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A woman that was accused of killing her boyfriend in a reckless driving incident in May 2018, took the stand in her own defense today.

Jessica Royall of Cranberry is facing charges of murder after her boyfriend fell off the roof of her SUV.

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Royall, however, testified she was fleeing from a violent man and had no intention of killing him.

She admitted her and her boyfriend Ryan Minett were both high on crack-cocaine when she tried to kick him out of the house and he became enraged, Royall testified in a Butler County courtroom on Thursday.

“I just wanted to get away from him,” Royall said.

According to Royall, as she tried to leave, Minett jumped on the car.

“He pounded the windows so hard I thought the windows would break,” she said.

She drove off in a Cranberry Township neighborhood as Minett clung to the luggage rack. He then fell off, received a severe head injury and died a day later. Her defense attorney declined to comment, but following the preliminary hearing last year he said the following:

Bill Diffenderfer: “She had no intention of killing him. The last thing this case is is a murder case. Being charged with homicide is troubling.”


Royall also said she had no idea how hurt Minett was.

While under cross-examination, she repeatedly said she “couldn’t remember” some events and admitted “I was high on crack-cocaine.”

The defense is expected to rest Friday morning and the jury could get the case tomorrow afternoon.