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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Could Talking Parrot Identify Killer in Michigan Murder Case?

South Jersey Homicide LawyersA murder case in Michigan is getting national attention after the parents of the victim went to the media to say that they believe a talking parrot may be able to identify their son’s killer.

In May 2015, Martin Duram was murdered at his residence in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The parrot, an African grey bird that the couple named Bud, was present in the home when the victim was fatally shot.

Glenna Duram, the victim’s wife, also lived at the residence. She was in the home at the time of the murder and sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Local law enforcement has continued to investigate the homicide and has now identified Glenna as a suspect in the killing.

Meanwhile, Charles Duram and Lillian Duram, the homicide victim’s parents, think that the parrot might have witnessed their son’s shooting death. The couple even went so far as to film the parrot speaking and reportedly mimicking a conversation between their son and his wife. The video recording is said to show the pet parrot repeating, “Don’t f—ing shoot” over and over again. As a result, the Durams believe that the bird may have witnessed the murder of their son.

Charles Duram said that his son’s death may have stemmed from a verbal altercation between the couple. Charles Duram talked to the media and observed that sometimes couples who get into arguments “lose control.”

Christina Keller, the ex-wife of Martin Duram, listened to the recording and confirmed that the parrot was mimicking two voices that she could clearly recognize. Keller is the current guardian of the parrot.

Will the Parrot Be Allowed To Testify?

It is highly unlikely that prosecutors will allow the talking parrot to provide evidence in the homicide case. Robert Springstead, a prosecutor in Newaygo County, Michigan, said that there is probably already enough evidence to charge someone with first degree murder in connection with the killing.

Additionally, the law on allowing the introduction of eyewitness testimony from a parrot has already been settled in other parts of the country. In 1993, the New York Times reported that the judge in a murder case refused to allow an African gray parrot to provide testimony.

Police Suspect the Victim’s Wife in the Killing

Early on in the investigation, police believed that Glenna was a victim. However, law enforcement is now treating Glenna as a suspect in the fatal shooting.
One of the reasons police believe that Glenna may have committed the homicide is that the handgun used in the killing was recovered at the scene. Additionally, the firearm reportedly belonged to the couple.

Michigan State Police and the Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office are actively investigating the homicide. Prosecutors are also carefully considering the possibility that the parrot could possibly be able to assist with the investigation. It is expected that the prosecutor’s office will make a decision on whether to charge Glenna Duram, the victim’s wife, in the next few weeks.

For more information about this fascinating case, read the Yahoo.com article, “Talking Parrot May Be the Sole Witness to a Homicide.”

 

If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault or any other violent criminal offense in New Jersey, you face severe penalties that could include a lengthy prison sentence. That’s why it is very important that you speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact John W. Tumelty now for a free consultation about your case.

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