Monday, June 27, 2016

Bud--Eye Witness to Murder

Bud is a parrot, an African grey like the one in the photo to be precise. Parrots are proverbial for their intelligence, ability to use human language, and their longevity. Bud was an eyewitness to the final domestic argument between husband and wife. He has been repeating snippets of that argument according to relatives. Now the local prosecutor is considering whether Bud will be allowed to testify to what he heard.

Martin Durham was found dead in his home fourteen months ago after a dispute with his wife, Glenna Durham, over money. Bud uses two voices, a man's and a woman's to repeat the last words spoken. In the man's voice, presumably Martin's, Bud says, "Don't fu***ing shoot".  Another former wife, Christine Keller, now the custodian of Bud, says she recognizes Bud's imitation of Martin. The Newago county, Michigan district attorney is studying the question of whether Bud's statement is admissible at trial. At first he was doubtful Bud's utterings could be material, but he is looking into the admissibility of such evidence. After all, how is Bud's audio recollection of the fatal argument any different in quality from a bloodhound's nose, or even a tape recording for that matter? No question this type of sensory evidence has been declared competent and material at trial. Glenna Durham is accused of shooting her husband five times before attempting to commit suicide. Way to stay alert, Bud!