COLORADO SPRINGS – Michael Whyte, the man accused of assaulting and killing a Fort Carson soldier in 1987, took the stand Wednesday.

Whyte is facing charges of first-degree murder in the death of Darlene Krashoc. The 20-year-old’s body was found behind a restaurant on South Academy on March 17, 1987. Police said she had been viciously attacked, mutilated and strangled with a wire hanger.

Whyte testified that he joined the Army in 1979 right after high school and was stationed in Fort Carson in 1986. He retired from his military career in 1998 and settled in Colorado where he worked for Time Warner Telecom/Century Link for 21 years.

Whyte said while stationed in Colorado Springs, it was common for Fort Carson soldiers to frequent the Korean Club Restaurant and Shuffles and drink beer and dance with women. Whyte said in 1987 he lived off-base with his then-wife, Hilda.

“I did not murder Darlene Krashoc, I did not,” said Whyte.

On cross-examination Whyte said he did not remember Krashoc or know if he ever had any contact with her. The prosecution asked Whyte about his relationship status with his wife at the time of Krashoc’s death and Whyte admitted they were having marital troubles. However the timeline as to when those troubles started was heavily debated and unclear.

Whyte said his marriage with Hilda was never contentious, they just drifted apart, and he admitted that while they lived in Colorado Springs he drank a lot beer and went home with other women from the bar.

“I went home with many women, danced with many women, was picked up by many women. There were women everywhere,” he said.

But he said he did not remember Krashoc or recognize her in the photos.

“I do know that I didn’t kill anybody in March of 1987,” he said.

Whyte said he had no idea why he was being arrested in 2019 at his home in Thorton and he became emotional as he recalled that day.

“I had just been put in handcuffs in front of my wife who is dying of cancer,” he said. “I had no idea what was going on.”

Whyte said he did not know how his DNA got on the wire hanger that was used to strangle Krashoc.

After Whyte testified the defense rested its case.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Thursday.