Linton is on trial for first-degree murder in the Feb. 23 shooting death of a 59-year-old gasoline deliveryman during a holdup that netted $60.
Police say Linton was the triggerman. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
In his opening statements Monday, Miller told the jury that testimony would show that Daniel Hesse of Fairfax, Del., was killed accidentally during an early-morning robbery at an Exxon station on Business Route 30 in Downingtown.
An accidental killing carries the lesser charge of second-degree murder, which means that Linton would not face death for his part in the robbery. Miller and Schenker tried to show that a single shot fired accidentally had killed Hesse.
But yesterday, from the witness stand, Linton told a story different from the one laid out by the lawyers Monday. He accused Brandon Simmers, his partner in the robbery and the only other eyewitness to the crime, of having taken the fatal shot.
"Brandon smacked the guy in the face with the gun, and the gun went off," Linton testified. "I started back to the front of the store. That's when I heard the second shot."
Simmers, of Parkesburg, was found guilty of second-degree murder in October and received a mandatory life sentence.
Testifying at his own trial, Simmers, 22, told a jury that Linton had struck Hesse in the face and that the gun had gone off, with the bullet nearly striking Simmers. He said Linton had then pointed the gun at Hesse's head and pulled the trigger.
Simmers, who was recently moved from Chester County Prison to Graterford Prison in Montgomery County, testified in October that, after taking about $60 from Hesse, Linton had found $2 in the driver's shirt pocket.
"Mr. Hesse said he didn't know it was there," Simmers testified. "That's when [Linton] just snapped."
Two other witnesses, Tammy Russum and Danny Jones, who had been waiting in a car parked in an alley near the Exxon station, testified yesterday that Simmers asked Linton why he had shot Hesse. Both testified that Linton answered: "I don't know. The gun just went off."
Linton said he and Simmers decided to tell Russum, Simmers' girlfriend, and Jones, Linton's best friend, that Linton had shot Hesse.
"You can't let his girl know; she's got kids with him," Linton told the jury. "I said: 'Look. I got this.' "
Russum, who is in Delaware County Prison, has pleaded no contest to third-degree murder and is to be sentenced following Linton's trial.
"Danny wasn't going to tell on me, because we were best friends," Linton said.
In March, Linton told police that Simmers killed Hesse even as Hesse begged for his life. Yesterday, prosecutors played a tape of that interview for the jury.
"Brandon was going up in this guy's pocket," Linton was heard to say on the tape. "The old man was saying: 'I'll give you anything. I'll give you anything.' Then [Simmers] smacked the guy across the face with the gun, and I heard the first pop. Then I turned away, and I heard the second pop."
Jones testified yesterday that he had heard Simmers ask Linton why he had shot Hesse a second time and that Linton had said: "I don't know. I must have blacked out or something."
Dawn Stine, 19, who had been dating Jones at the time of the robbery, testified yesterday that she had been sitting with Linton and Jones at her house when she heard that the police were looking for Linton.
She testified that Linton became upset and said: "I know what this is about. I killed somebody."
During a search in March, police found a holster in Linton's room. Prosecutors have said that holster goes with the .22-caliber handgun used to kill Hesse.
The gun has not been recovered. Linton testified that he and Simmers sold it in Coatesville a day after the killing.
Closing statements are expected to begin today.