Chaka Khan said her son is a kind, gentle man who she believes accidentally killed his friend nearly two years ago in her home.
The singer, whose real name is Yvette Stevens, testified Thursday in the murder trial of her son, 27-year-old Damien Patrick Holland.
Holland is charged with killing Christopher Bailey, 17, an aspiring rapper who was staying at the home Holland shares with his mother, girlfriend and five-year-old daughter.
Holland testified earlier this week that he never intended to kill Bailey when he poked at him with an M-16 assault rifle. The two had been discussing an affair the younger man claimed to have had with Holland’s girlfriend.
Holland cried in court as he recalled how Bailey fell to the floor, bleeding from his face.
Khan described Bailey as “bright,” “talented” and “full of life,” adding that the boy could have survived the shooting had police permitted emergency medical workers to enter her home sooner.
“It was like something out of a nightmare,” Khan testified.
During questioning by his attorney, Holland admitted he made up a story about the gun going off during a struggle with Bailey. Holland also said he persuaded friends to lie to the police and had a friend punch him in the face to make it appear he had fought with Bailey.
“I didn’t see any way out of the situation,” Holland said. “I felt terrible.”
Khan, who is known for such hits as “Tell Me Something Good” and “I Feel For You,” returns to court Monday for cross-examination.