From NBC Charlotte by Rad Berky, February 19, 2014
At the triple-murder trial of Justin Hurd, jurors were shown grisly pictures from two crime scenes.
The details and photos were so graphic that one family member walked out of the courtroom while they were displayed on a large monitor.
Detective Jennifer Sprague of the Huntersville Police Department described the scene where the body of 18-year-old Jasmine Hines was found back in February of 2008.
Sprague told the jury, “There was a body lying on the side of Howell Ridge Road, on the south side of the road.”
The jury was shown photos of the body of the teenager who had been shot twice and doused with gasoline.
The photos also showed a bullet hole in the backseat of the car, and gasoline cans and a lighter in the road near the car.
“I noticed the smell of gasoline,” Det. Sprague testified, saying it was “strong”.
Investigators say Hurd and Nate Sanders killed Hines and tried to set the vehicle on fire to cover it up.
Sprague told the jury what she did with the gas cans.
“I took swabs for possible DNA,” she said.
It is that DNA, prosecutors have said, that will link Hurd to that killing and the murders a few hours earlier of Kevin Young and Kinshasa Wagstaff.
They were found in a burned-out home on Patricia Ryan Drive, where Young had been shot and Wagstaff’s throat had been cut.
Fire Investigator Edwin Shave with the Charlotte Fire Department, described what he noticed when he went into the house after the fire had finally been put out.
“When I was processing, there was a smell I commonly associate with gasoline,” he testified.
Investigators then showed the jury pictures from inside the home, where again, gas cans had been found.
Yesterday the jury was shown surveillance camera video from two convenience stores where Sanders was seen on the video buying gas cans, lighters, gloves, and trash bags.
The prosecution is trying to show that Hurd and Sanders killed the three people during an attempt to rob Young, who the jury has been told was a major marijuana dealer.
Sanders himself was murdered later in the summer of 2008, leaving Hurd as the only person ever charged with the killings.