The trial began Friday for two Muslim converts accused of trying to decapitate UK soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight on a London street earlier this year.
A prosecutor told the court that Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, drove their car directly at the 25-year-old Rigby as he walked to his barracks in London on May 22.
They then dragged Rigby's body to the middle of the road and began hacking at him with knives, prosecutor Richard Whittam said.
Rigby's relatives watched from the courtroom as Whittam told the jury of eight women and four men that Adebowale had stabbed and cut the soldier while Adebolajo tried to cut his head off.
When the police arrived, Adebolajo ran at a police car with the meat cleaver raised and was shot by officers, the prosecutor said.
Adebowale ran at police with a gun, and was also shot.
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Whittam called it a "cowardly and callous murder."
The two men have pleaded not guilty to murder charges, although jurors were told that both men have admitted to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
They are also accused of attempting to murder a police officer on the same day, and conspiracy to murder a police officer.
The defense will present its case later in the trial.
AFP contributed to this report.