Testrake flatly contradicted this claim Monday. After admitting some initial confusion over the identities of the two hijackers, the pilot stared at the defendant and said:
"This is the man who I recall had stood in the forward entryway and shot Stethem."
The TWA pilot said that Hamadi "appeared to almost enjoy inflicting pain on passengers, to inflict violence when none was called for."
In his testimony, the pilot also said Hamadi seemed to take orders from the second hijacker.
Testrake said one hijacker had earlier beaten Stethem with a metal armrest from a seat and that the other hijacker jumped up and down on the unconscious victim's body.
To enforce demands that the plane be refueled by the Beirut ground crew, Testrake said, the hijackers threatened to kill a passenger.
"I could see the other hijacker standing by in the doorway," he recalled. "The forward cabin door then opened, and I could see this hijacker pull Stethem to his feet.
"I heard a single pistol shot, and then the other hijacker screamed at me to tell the tower that one passenger had been shot and another would be shot in five minutes if their demands were not met."
Times staff writer Norman Kempster in Washington contributed to this story.