Steven Neville's lawyer is making the case that his client didn't commit murder, but acted in self-defence.

Neville, 22, is on trial for the first-degree murder of Doug Flynn and the attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer.

In the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday, a St. John's jury heard how Neville was a low-level drug dealer who was scared for his life -- so much so that he even called police for help.

Defence lawyer Peter Ralph questioned RNC Const. Tom Warren, the lead investigator in the case.

Warren told the court that on Sept. 18, 2010, Neville called the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and said he " ... was in a car on the TCH driving fast with a flat and that there were guys following in a car who had knives."

In a second call, Neville is quoted as saying, "They have knives and bats."

The dispatcher then heard what sounded like a crash. An officer was sent out to find Neville, but was unsucessful.

Warren said shortly thereafter, Flynn sent two text messages, including one that said: "Tell me if Neville is down talking ... about what happened. I'm going to kill him."

Warren also told the court that Dwyer was a drug dealer.

Ralph asked Warren about a text that was sent from Dwyer to another man, Chris Rodd, about Neville. It read: " ... one of them bys just told me he got 3 grand on him ... look for silver new Corola (sic)."

Warren confirmed during questioning that it appeared Rodd was planning to rob Neville.

There were even more texts collected between Dwyer and his girlfriend. She wrote that she heard Neville got robbed, but Dwyer replied, "No he never. The boys are going to get him though."

Lyndon Butler, who's accused with another man in the murder of Nick Winsor, was also mentioned in court on Monday. Ralph said a witness will testify that Butler tried to rob Neville.

The situation between Neville, Flynn and Dwyer escalated on Sept. 30, 2010, when Neville attacked them with bear spray. That incident sent Dwyer on a texting frenzy, threatening to kill Neville.

Neville has denied he had a knife on the night of Oct. 9, 2010, when Flynn,19, was stabbed in the chest and temple.

Flynn later died in hospital.