Kenneth Ohler told a jury Wednesday he fatally shot an East Peoria man in his home by accident when the man tried to stop him from killing himself.

His story prompted several relatives of Michael Dixon to shed tears as they listened, and disdain from the prosecutor who cross-examined him in the second day of Ohler’s murder trial.

The jury will hear closing arguments Thursday morning, then decide whether Ohler, 48, is guilty of murder and home invasion charges stemming from the death of Dixon, 60, the night of Dec. 29, 2016.

Prosecutors argue that Ohler carried a “compulsive obsession” for a young man that led him to the home the man shared with his mother and Dixon, his stepfather. When Ohler entered the home and Dixon confronted him, Ohler allegedly shot him, then shot himself in the chest.

Ohler testified he came to Dixon’s home “to shoot myself in front of” Alex Preciado, 25, but Preciado wasn’t home.

When Dixon ordered him to leave, “I pulled my gun out to shoot myself,” Ohler said. Dixon “grabbed for it and the gun went off.” The shooting was “absolutely” an accident, he said.

Previous testimony, including from Dixon’s wife Jeanette and forensic scientists, produced another scenario in stark conflict with Ohler’s.

Ohler sat on a couch and Dixon stood several feet away when Ohler fired a shot that traveled up through Ohler’s chest, according to that testimony.

Jeannette Dixon said she was in the nearby kitchen when she heard her husband say, “Seriously, you’re going to shoot me?” The gunshot she heard a moment later sent her fleeing from the house through the patio door.

Ohler had met and hired Preciado six months earlier, days after he traveled from his New Mexico home to become sales manager at Green Chevrolet in Peoria.

He told the jury he lived alone in a motel, battled depression, drank “almost every night” and knew no one in Illinois before his friendship with Preciado “blossomed.”

Preciado described how a father-son relationship began when Ohler hired him with no experience and promised “to make me wealthy” as a successful car salesman, before Ohler turned jealous over Preciado’s girlfriend.

That Dec. 23, Ohler attacked and choked Preciado at the dealership. Its general manager fired Ohler the next day and recommended Preciado obtain a no-contact court order against Ohler, the jury heard.

Preciado knew Ohler carried a handgun, “and I was scared he’d do what he did,” he testified.