Mohammed Sageer denies murdering Waseem Ramzan and kickboxing star Khuzaimah Douglas, who both died from injuries caused by crossbow bolts following a burglary at a cannabis farm.
Edinburgh-born Sageer, 33, exercised his right not to give evidence to a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court, where he is standing trial alongside a father and son also accused of murder.
The prosecution allege that Mr Ramzan was shot by mistake by his brother, Saghawat Ramzan, before the crossbow was reloaded to kill the original intended target, Mr Douglas, as “retribution” for his role in the burglary.
Sageer’s barrister, Michael Borrelli QC, told the trial on Monday that the defendant drove to the scene in Brierley Hill, West Midlands, after receiving a nine-second phone call from Waseem Ramzan at 3.36am on February 20 last year.
Urging jurors to acquit Sageer, Mr Borrelli told the court: “Not much can have been said in nine seconds.
“He arrives pre-programmed to help to defend his friend… he arrives on the scene of a struggle.
“We submit to you that he could not possibly have had an opportunity to have engaged his mind to the extent that there was some kind of plan to hold somebody down, who was then going to be subjected to retribution and really serious injury, let alone death.”
Claiming there was no evidence that Sageer knew anything about the cannabis factory, Mr Borrelli said of the struggle: “It was a short, frantic and chaotic melee and is not one that Mr Sageer participated in intending to kill or really hurt somebody.
“There is no way he could have imagined that Mr Saghawat Ramzan was, at point-blank range, going to discharge a bolt which ended up piercing his good friend.
“There is no evidence that you can be sure about that he would have realised the nature of the attack that was going to take place.”
CCTV footage of the struggle, alleged to show Omar, Saghawat and Waseem Ramzan joining with Mohammed Sageer in a “four-on-one punishment beating”, before a bolt aimed at Mr Douglas killed Waseem Ramzan around a minute before a second bolt fatally hit Mr Douglas.
Sageer was seen on CCTV throwing a second crossbow out of harm’s way during the struggle, his lawyer said.
Saghawat Ramzan and his son, Omar Ramzan, also deny two counts of murder.
Both men claim to have been acting in defence of Waseem Ramzan, and to have had no knowledge of the cannabis farm.
Opening the case last month, prosecutor Adrian Keeling QC said Saghawat and Omar Ramzan lived in a house next door to a property being used to grow cannabis worth up to £225,000 a year.
Sageer of Gorsty Avenue, Brierley Hill, is alleged to have driven to the house in the town’s Pensnett Road to join efforts to protect the drug-growing operation.
The trial continues.