Sunnyside man describes murder of fiancee as "out of body experience" in court

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Stanley Pipes told jurors what happened when prosecutors say he murdered his fiance while she tried to call 911 for help. (KFSN)

A Fresno County man on trial for murder called it an "out of body experience."

On Monday, Stanley Pipes told jurors what happened when prosecutors say he murdered his fiance while she tried to call 911 for help.

Pipes described his relationship with Kristie Claassen as filled with highs and lows. He says she was addicted to prescription painkillers, and he was mentally and physically exhausted the night an argument over cat food ultimately led to her brutal death.

"And I pulled the trigger, pop," Pipes told the court. "The gun popped."

Pipes describes being in a dreamlike state when he shot and killed his fiance in late 2015. After that first gunshot, he described how she was struggling to breathe.

"I saw myself moving towards her again," he told the jury. "I couldn't let Kristie suffer."

So Pipes said he pulled the trigger again and then once more until she was silent. The holidays always brought difficulty for the couple, Kristie's final Christmas season was no different; it was filled with arguments.

But lately, her snooping into his financial records was causing increasing tension and stress. Their last fight was over feeding her cats.

"I told her that she could not feed the cats for a fourth time and she said, 'I can feed my animals whenever I want,' and I said 'no you can't, not at my expense,'" Pipes said. "The most expensive cat food on the market is what we had, and she had already fed them $10 worth that day."

Pipes told the court Kristie too liked the finer things in life, but her priciest problem was draining his bank account with her addiction to powerful prescription drugs.

Even though their breakups were often, Pipes said their strong mutual attraction was undeniable and always drew them back together.

"The connection was absolutely amazing, and we both remarked about it often," he said.

The same day she died, Pipes described finding his bank records in disarray and the fax machine and copier slightly moved. He believed Kristie was trying to steal his ailing mom's identity and get access to his bank account.

Pipes admitted to feeding her habit and even helping her get illegal drugs to stop violent withdrawals. He is facing charges of first-degree murder.
Related Topics:
newsfresnocourt casehomicide investigationFresno
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