There is much in what Rilchiam suggests.
In my experience (limiting my observations to my jurisdiction, because local laws may change the equation) people who have been involved in a killing have a terrible dilemma to resolve. In simple terms, to prove murder, the prosecution has to establish an unlawful killing plus a guilty intent; to prove manslaughter, just the unlawful killing.
Thus, a suspect can adopt Plan A - stonewall and deny any involvement, with the risk that if something turns up (fingerprints, witnesses, etc) they are toast. It is (tolerably) easy to make the link between proof of presence at the scene + complete (false) denial equals guilt of murder. That initial position of denial pretty much shuts out all the excuses which are dependant upon the minutiae of the event such as self-defence, provocation etc - how can you say you were provoked if you weren’t there? And any later attempt at a fallback position has obvious huge credibility problems, which can make things even worse.
On the other hand, stone cold denial might result in getting off altogether if nothing turns up. There commonly aren’t other witnesses present; forensics aren’t as infallibly successful as CSI suggests, and so forth.
Or one can move to Plan B, and admit limited involvement, or some species of “confess and avoid” - the deceased threatened me, he provoked me, it was an accident, I was insane, etc, all of which may have different legal consequences but which at least have the advantage of such credibility as emerges from consistency of account from the outset, and the provision of evidence raising various matters of exculpation which would probably otherwise be absent (because killings commonly do not occur with witnesses present). Plan B tends to help enormously to avoid the risk of going down for the Big One, at the expense of possibly going down for manslaughter (and getting a lighter sentence).
As with all dilemma games, a suspect has to factor in things such as the presence of co-offenders and what they might say, and the price of various choices - in my jurisdiction, murder gets you mandatory life, manslaughter might get you around 10; less if you are lucky.
In summary, (subject to the observation that all generalities are false) if you deny all, then you make murder an easier call for a jury if the evidence starts to stack up against you, because intent is relatively easy to infer in circumstances uncomplicated by excuses. The prize, though, is a complete acquittal if nothing turns up. On the other hand, if you admit involvement, you buy a little credibility at the price of a likely conviction for at least manslaughter, and maybe murder if you do a rotten job of it.
Best way to avoid having to face this hugely tough call, of course, is to walk away before it gets to having to gamble with your life.