The verdict returned in Emmett Kyzer murder case that began this week will hinge on whether the jury believes testimony of the accused killer's ex-girlfriend.

Marla Johnsey spent hours on the witness stand Tuesday, in the first full day of proceedings against Clifford Madison.

Madison, 54, is accused of beating 83-year-old wheelchair-using Emmett Kyzer with a baseball bat and stabbing him with an icepick before hiding his body in the woods and setting it on fire in 2016.

Johnsey gave two statements to police during the early stages of the investigation, saying she didn't know what happened to Kyzer when he was missing and denying knowledge again when his body was found. Then in January 2017, she gave a statement that broke the case that was growing cold, after she and Madison were jailed on domestic violence charges. She gave a jailhouse interview that she repeated on the stand Tuesday.

Madison's attorney suggested Johnsey used the photos she'd been shown during prior police interviews and knowledge she had from the case to craft that third statement.

"Her story is not consistent enough to make any sense," Leif Rush Hampton told the jury during opening statements. "The evidence does not support the allegations of the story — the fantastic story — that you sill hear from Ms. Johnsey."

But prosecutor Eddie Sherlock said that state will show evidence that backs up her account.

"There's other things we'll show you through the testimony, through the  evidence that what she said happened that day did indeed happen," said Sherlock, an assistant Tuscaloosa County district attorney. "This is not a case of some spiteful woman out to make Mr. Madison's life hell. She's not someone out with an ax to grind. It's not a woman scorned case. It's a murder case in which Mr. Clifford Madison murdered another human being."

While on the stand, Johnsey said Madison had been abusive throughout their relationship and repeatedly said she feared for her life.

She said she walked into the  front yard of Kyzer's home on Keenes Mill Road and saw Madison beating Kyzer with a baseball bat around 2:15 that day, adding that Madison told her he had waved at a passing sheriff's deputy. Madison told her to go inside and retrieve something else he could use as a weapon.

"I was trying to look for something that wouldn't kill him," she said. She took an ice pick outside to Madison. She said he used the ice pick to kill Kyzer, and went to a wooded area off Ed Stephens Road where they doused the body with gasoline and set Kyzer on fire. Madison said he would do the same to Johnsey if she said anything, she testified.

"I feared for my life," she said. She said she only came forward when she felt safe.

The couple had been living in Kyzer's extra bedroom for nearly a week, helping him with his medical issues and housecleaning.

Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday.