Jeffries Murder Trial Moves Into Defense Witnesses

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PANAMA CITY-- The state wrapped-up its case today in the first-degree-murder trial of 29-year-old Kevin Jeffries.

Jeffries, along with two others, is accused of murdering 90-year-old Wallace Scott at Scott's Lynn Haven home last year.

Most of today's key testimony involved physical evidence and the Bay County Sheriff's Office investigation.

Prosecutor Larry Basford only called three witnesses Wednesday before resting his case, but they were important witnesses.

Bay Co. Sheriff's Office Major Tommy Ford and Captain Jimmy Stanford both took the stand, talking about the steps they took to develop 29-year-old Kevin Jeffries, his cousin 28-year-old David Challender and his fiance 29-year-old Ashley Griffin as their suspects in Scott's murder.

During Stanford's testimony, jurors heard a record of Jeffries' interrogation, shortly after his arrest.

Jeffries was caught and interrogated on April 14, 2013 and said, "David said when we got there that we could get a couple thousand dollars cash that was there, the guns and said something else that was there, but I don't even... It was... It wasn't nothing specific. But he said there was money there, he said the guns was there. Nothing was there except for the guns."

Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Hunter also testified that based on his examination, he has no doubt Scott was murdered.

Dr. Hunter, who is the 14th Circuit Medical Examiner, said, "The manner of death here, this is clearly a homicide. These are inflicted injuries by someone else to him."

But Jeffries' taped interview also seems to raise questions about pre-meditation.

Jeffries claims they never meant to kill Scott.

Jeffries said later in his interrogation, "Me and Ashley tried to talk to David into just saying, 'Let's go,man. This ain't... ain't what it was. This wasn't supposed to be this way, it wasn't supposed to go down, we wasn't supposed to do this. It wasn't right.' Me and Ashley did have a conversation like that."

Jeffries claims the robbery was Challender's idea. Challender is still facing trial. Griffin has already cut a deal, pleading guilty to second-degree-murder in exchange for a 20-year sentence and her testimony at both Jeffries' and Challender's' trials.

The defense began calling witnesses Wednesday afternoon.

The jury should get the case Friday.

One of the key defense witnesses, Sherri Mercer, is expected to testify Friday. She's Challender's mother and Jeffries' aunt. She was also the victim's caretaker and friend, but the two had a falling-out shortly before Scott's murder.


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