He was the one armed with a parang when a group of four men went on a violent robbery spree in Kallang three years ago, leaving an Indian national dead.
But 25-year-old Micheal Garing shifted the blame for the fatal slashing to co-accused Tony Imba, 34, when taking the stand on Tuesday.
Micheal, Tony and two accomplices, all from Sarawak, attacked and robbed four men between the night of May 29 and the early hours of May 30 in 2010. One accomplice, Hairee Landak, 22, is serving 33 years in prison. The other, Donny Meluda, also 22, is at large.
On Tuesday, Micheal admitted that he was the only one who attacked the first three victims with a parang. But just as he had told the police after his arrest, he implicated Tony in the death of 41-year-old Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, a construction worker from India.
Micheal testified that the group was at a friend's place in Geylang when he found a parang - 58cm long with a blade measuring 46.5cm - belonging to someone named "Boy" at one of the beds there and showed it to the rest.
He told the court it was Tony who came up with the idea of committing robbery and was also the one who initiated the attacks on all the four victims.
In the first three robberies - on Indian nationals Sandeep Singh, 27, and Egan Karuppaiah, 46, and Singaporean Ang Jun Heng, 22 - Micheal admitted that he was the only one who used the parang on them, claiming it was to "defend" his accomplices when the victims retaliated.
But he insisted he was not alone in slashing Mr Shanmuganathan, who suffered 20 external injuries. Micheal said he swung the parang at the Indian national only three times - once above his head to scare him, and then once each to the left arm and back.