Former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay stepped down from the witness stand Tuesday after testifying for six days in his own defense, saying he loved the company and its employees and watching it implode was the “most painful thing in my life.”

“Did I make mistakes? I’m sure I did, Mr. Hueston. I had to make real-time decisions based on the information I had at the time,” he told Assistant U.S. Attorney John Hueston, who asked him why he tried to blame others for Enron’s downfall. “If not for [former Enron finance chief] Andy Fastow, Enron would not have failed.”

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