A man accused of murdering an elderly pet shop worker more than 20 years ago found out about the killing on the news, a court was told.
Stuart Jenkins, 41, of Ossett, West Yorkshire, denies murdering Arthur Brumhill, 76, in Northampton in 1993.
Mr Brumhill was found dead in the basement of Denton's pet and garden shop. He had 26 injuries and his body was covered in straw.
Mr Jenkins was arrested at the time but was later released.
The former Army sergeant worked at the pet shop for about a month in 1992, aged 17, on a youth training scheme.
He told Northampton Crown Court he got on "well" with Mr Brumhill.
During his evidence, Mr Jenkins maintained he had not returned to the shop in Wellingborough Road after leaving his £32-a-week job in the November.
"It was just the money, it was time to move on," he told the court.
Under questioning from his barrister, William Harbage QC, Mr Jenkins said he found out about Mr Brumhill's death on the TV news.
"He was a nice old man, but he was not someone I would go and visit," he said.
Mr Jenkins was re-arrested and charged in May 2015 when a review of evidence in the case found his fingerprints on a bag that had contained straw.
Mr Jenkins told the court he may have ripped the bag open "at any time" while working at the shop.
The ex-soldier also denied he had "confessed" to a former partner in the mid-1990s.
"The only admission I said to her was that the only thing that ever really scared me was being questioned by the police," he told the court.
The trial continues.