Testimony continues in 2008 triple murder trial - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Testimony continues in 2008 triple murder trial

Posted: Updated:
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The second day of testimony in the capital murder trial for Justin Hurd started on Tuesday.

Hurd is accused of killing three people in February of 2008. After a massive fire on Patricia Ryan Drive two people were found dead in the home and another woman was found dead and badly burned in Huntersville.

The prosecution is laying out its case with many witnesses. Eleven people took the stand on Tuesday.

Two were friends of Kinshasha Wagstaff, the woman found dead inside the burnt out home. Michelle Ervin and Rebecca Dennard confirmed the burnt out home on Patricia Ryan Drive was owned by Wagstaff.

Ervin said before the fire, they went shoe shopping.

She said Wagstaff bought a pair of Christian Dior hot pink slingbacks on sale.
 
Dennard, Wagstaff's friend from college, said she planned on spending that day, Superbowl Sunday together and thought it was strange Wagstaff didn't answer her phone around 6 p.m. that night.

Someone called 911 at 11:43 on February 3, 2008 and whispered into the phone. The officer who responded testified it was completely dark inside.

"After I knocked on the door and I didn't get an answer," said Officer Mike Travis, "I tried the doorbell but it didn't work so I knocked again. I walked around to the car put my hand on the car just to see if it was warm, in case somebody must of just gotten there for some reason they're not coming to the door but it was cold."

That same officer said he went back to the home when the fire call came in and noticed the car he touched was missing.

Many other witnesses reinforced the prosecution's claim that two people were working together on the night of the killings.

The prosecution explained surveillance video recorded before the fire on Patricia Ryan Drive shows Nate Sanders at a Circle K buying gas cans, trash bags and other items.

"When I went to ring him up he tried to pay with a hundred dollar bill," said Fred King, the former Circle K clerk,  "I didn't have enough change at the time. I told him I didn't have change. So he bought a bunch of lighters."

Surveillance video from outside the Circle K showed that same man filling the gas cans and then getting into a van on the passenger side. Someone else was driving.

Following the prosecution's timeline, the fire on Patricia Ryan Drive happened later.  Then around 5 am, the same man is seen at an Exxon Run and Go.

"He had a busted lip. He had some blood on his hoodie. I couldn't guarantee it was blood. It was red, red," said Rochester Hutchins, the former Exxon Run and Go clerk.

Hutchins saw photos from the other gas station and said that was not the same person who bought gas cans from him.  When the defense showed him a photo of Nate Sanders with Angelo Harman (prosecution's first witness yesterday) in Atlanta, he said Sanders was the man he met with blood on his hoodie.

Hutchins and a customer in the store testified they saw a white car following the van when it left the gas station.

Another woman, Janelle Fogelman said she drove behind both cars near Huntersville on her way to work.

"The little white car pulled next to SUV and they were going the same speed," said Fogelman.

She also said she saw them pull off a dead road.

No witness said they could identify Justin Hurd as the driver of the van or the white car. Monday in the prosecutor's opening statement he said Hurd's DNA was found on the steering wheel of the white car found next to one of the victim's bodies.

A Huntersville police officer ended testimony Tuesday saying when he found the body next to a white car there were gas cans nearby.

Prosecutors said Justin Hurd and Nate Sanders killed the three people. Sanders is not on trial.

He was found murdered out of state.

The jury has not been told Sanders is dead.

Powered by WorldNow