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A Utah man testified Tuesday that he was given a terrible choice on the night of Nov. 23, 2013: kill a friend or be killed himself.

So, Andrew Beck said, he pointed the gun he had been handed and shot 34-year-old Cleat Knight.

Then he was escorted back to the truck that had brought him and Knight to an area near Snowbasin ski resort in Weber County, and he and his kidnappers, including Viliamu Seumanu, headed back toward Salt Lake City, Beck said.

At first it was quiet in the vehicle. Then Christopher Leech — who had ordered Beck to shoot Knight — told his fellow kidnappers to clean the truck and burn the victims' clothes, Beck testified.

Beck testified at the murder trial of Seumanu, the first of four defendants accused in the kidnapping and execution-style shooting of the 34-year-old Knight to go to trial.

Prosecutors contend that Seumanu helped plan Knight's murder, along with Christopher Leech, 36, Theron Myore, 44, and Tina Soules, 42, who is Seumanu's sister-in-law. All four have pleaded not guilty.

Seumanu, 43, is charged in 3rd District Court with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies.

During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutor Nathan Evershed told jurors that while Seumanu did not shoot the victim, he was certainly part of the horrific crime.

He said Seumanu helped take Knight to the spot near Snowbasin and ordered him to sit down. Knight was then shot as payback for the alleged theft of drug money.

But the defense countered that jurors will hear many inconsistencies during the week-long trial. "You'll hear no evidence that [Seumanu] planned anything," said defense attorney Rudy Bautista, who also said his client was coerced into participating in the events leading up to Knight's death.

Beck testified that shortly before Thanksgiving 2013, Soules gave him $2,200 to buy 4 ounces of methamphetamine and loaned him her rental car. He was able to get only 2 ounces, so he gave Knight the money and the vehicle — which had the meth in it — the next day to get the rest of the drugs.

Beck said as the wait for Knight to return dragged on, Soules and a friend of hers picked him up and brought him to a West Valley City house. After numerous phone calls and a search failed to turn up Knight, he and Soules were in the garage discussing how to resolve the situation when Leech walked in with a gun, Beck said.

Leech held him in the garage for a while, then took him out to a truck, Beck said. He said the two were joined by Seumanu and Myore on a drive to a South Salt Lake apartment.

Others showed up, including Soules, her sister and Knight, Beck said. He and Knight were tied up with speaker wire, and their hoodies were pulled over their faces so they couldn't see.

Less than a half hour after they arrived in South Salt Lake, Beck and Knight were escorted outside and into a truck by Leech and Seumanu, and Myore started driving, Beck testified.

Knight begged for his life but Leech told him it was too late and to shut up, Beck said, adding that he didn't say anything. "I assumed both of us were dead," he said.

When they reached their destination, they were escorted to a spot, ordered to sit down and had their hoods removed.

"I looked over at Cleat," Beck said. "He said, 'I guess this it.' And he said, 'I'm sorry, bro.' "

Beck said Knight was shot in the back and although he did not see the actual shooting, believes Leech fired the gun. The sound came from the left, he said, and when he turned in that direction, he saw Leech. He said Seumanu and Myore were on his right.

Knight rolled down a hill and said "I'm dead," Beck said.

Then, he said, Leech ordered him to shoot Knight and handed him a gun. Leech said, "There's only one bullet in the gun. Don't do anything stupid," Beck testified

With a gun at his own head, Beck said, he pointed the weapon down and fired without looking at his friend. That bullet went through Knight's left cheek, according to the medical examiner's report.

Knight's body was found under 6 feet of snow near Snowbasin on Jan. 7, 2014.

Beck was charged with obstruction of justice and also faces three unrelated charges, including a weapons count and a forgery-related count. A plea bargain calls for a probation recommendation from prosecutors for his cooperation, he said.

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

Jennifer Dobner contributed to this story.