WEST PALM BEACH — After spending the day golfing, drinking and doing drugs with his 74-year-old father, James “Jimmy” Scandirito II went outside for a smoke break on the night of March 28, 2018. His mother — a lifelong smoker — had died in the last year from lung cancer, so his dad didn’t like when he smoked inside the Boca Raton home. When he returned inside, more than an hour later, he found James “Skip” Scandirito on the floor, unconscious, covered in cocaine.

He told the jury at his first-degree murder trial Tuesday that he was “scared to death” he’d be blamed for what he thought was his father’s fatal overdose. Over the next several days, he said, he dismembered his father’s body, dumped the remains between a construction site and an abandoned golf course, faked text messages from his father’s phone and lied to everyone about his father’s whereabouts, from neighbors to police.

“It was one bad decision, and another bad decision, and a stupid decision, and a horrible decision,” he said. “It just kept snowballing.”

But, he insisted again and again from the witness stand, he did not kill his father.

Scandirito, 50, spent nearly three hours on the stand Tuesday afternoon before Circuit Judge John Kasrenakes. Prosecutors say the younger Scandirito killed his father to inherit money, then dismembered his body to try to hide it.

Scandirito told the 15-person jury he wasn’t desperate for money. He said he dismembered his father because he was worried he’d be blamed his death.

“Honestly, I should have called 911, but I didn’t want to face them in my current state,” he explained, saying he was under the influence of several drugs that night. “As terrible as it sounds, I was afraid.”

Scandirito said drugs and alcohol had always been a part of his life. He said he had his first joint as a young teen with his father on a skiing trip. He said when he got older, he continued to do drugs and drink with his father. In the last few years, he said he made a decent amount of money selling marijuana edibles and vapes.

A few months before his father’s death, he said they were in Key West, partying and golfing over the holidays. On the day he died, “Skip” Scandirito and his son were doing much of the same, the 50-year-old said in court.

“At that moment, it didn’t occur to you that he might of died from natural causes?” Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Ramsey asked him.

“No. Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me until I found out there was no cocaine in his system,” he said. “I asked you three times, ‘Are you sure? You sure?’ ”

On Friday, Dr. Reinhard Motte testified there was no cocaine in “Skip” Scandirito’s system, but instead small amounts of marijuana, prescription pain killers and alcohol. None were enough to kill him, he told the jury.

Scandirito said his father was too heavy to move, so he wanted to get a hand truck to put him in his bedroom. After realizing there wasn’t one in the house, he went to Walmart trying to find one. After several hours, and a stop at Home Depot when it opened at 6 a.m., he made it back to his father’s place.

He tried moving the body, but as he made his way through the house, it became harder to maneuver him, Scandirito said. At one point he finally collapsed on the floor with his father’s body and began to cry.

“The whole enormity of the situation presented itself at that moment,” he said.

He moved the body into the garage, covered it with a kayak and texted one of his dad’s friends from his father’s phone to cancel plans.

The next day, he said, he dismembered his father in the garage with a handsaw. He said he wore a poncho, though he said there wasn’t much blood. Though Scandirito showed little emotion from the stand, there was a point when describing the mutilation of his father’s body that he got caught on his words and had to stop to compose himself. He said he took frequent breaks to vomit that night as he put the pieces of his father into garbage bags.

“I’d smoke cigarettes and just wish this nightmare wasn’t happening,” Scandirito said.

In the following days, he put the body pieces in three suitcases. He took the lightest suitcase, containing the arms, legs and head, and dumped it inside a trash bin at a construction site. He said the upper and lower parts of the torso were too heavy to lift into the bin, so he decided to bury those instead at the abandoned Ocean Breeze Golf Club in Boca Raton.

Assistant State Attorney John Parnofiello asked Scandirito why he didn’t call 911 when he went to Walmart that night. He said at that point he had taken himself out of the situation. He said he could have asked for police to do a wellness check.

“You didn’t want to get in trouble for your father overdosing at your father’s house when you’re not even there? You could have called 911.”

“I could have. But I don’t think that makes any sense,” Scandirito replied.

“It makes more sense to dismember your father and bury his torso?” Parnofiello said.

“No, that makes the least amount of sense,” Scandirito said.