Trial for 2008 Triple Murder Goes to Mecklenburg Jury on February 27, 2014

From NBC Charlotte by Rad Berky, February 27, 2014

The triple murder trial of Justin Hurd is now in the hands of the jury.

The jury listened to five hours of closing arguments by defense lawyers over two days, before getting the case late Friday afternoon.

After they picked a foreman, they were all sent home for the weekend.

During their closing arguments Thursday, the prosecution laid out a theory that Hurd was an enforcer for a New York drug gang and that the murders in 2008 were the result of an effort to collect on a debt.

Reputed drug dealer Kevin Young was shot and stabbed in the home of his girlfriend, Kinshasa Wagstaff, on Patricia Ryan Drive.

Wagstaff’s throat was cut before the home was set on fire.

Hours later, the body of Wagstaff’s niece, Jasmine Hines was found in a ditch next to Young’s Toyota in Huntersville.

Prosecutors told the jury there was DNA evidence that linked Hurd to both crime scenes.

Prosecutors also called two prison informants to testify that they had talked about the murders with Hurd.

But in his closing argument that lasted over two days, defense lawyer Alan Bowman ridiculed the prosecution’s witnesses saying, “No fair minded, rational individual would have chosen those guys for anything.”

Bowman called them jailhouse snitches who only came forward hoping to win favor with prosecutors in return for telling a made-up story.

And Bowman said prosecutors went along with their stories for a reason.

“Because there is a desperation factor in this case and without these two guys, Tweedel-Dee and Tweedel-Dum, this ain’t a case.”

Bowman told the jury not to put any stock in the DNA evidence because it could have been contaminated and there was no record of how long it had been on evidence items.

Hurd did not testify or call any witnesses of his own to testify for him.

He could face the death penalty if he is convicted.

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Published in: on February 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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