TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The third and final week of the Henry Segura trial has begun and the defense rested its case this morning. The jury will start deliberating tomorrow.
Segura is accused of killing Brandi Peters and her three young children and could face the death penalty if he’s found guilty.
A very quick day in court, just two hours were needed to wrap up testimony on both sides. The most critical points, determining the time of the murders and figuring out whether there’s DNA from other potential suspects at the crime scene.
First up, Brandi Peters’ next door neighbor said her dog wouldn’t stop barking in the early morning hours of November 20th. But Peters’ sister said the last time she actually talked to Brandi on the phone was the “late afternoon” on November 19th.
Next, the state called on two experts to go over DNA found at the crime scene. Both testified they couldn’t match the DNA to two of the defense’s potential suspects, Angel Avila-Quinones and Demario Paramore.
Forensics expert Dr. Kevin McElfresh explained why Avila can’t be considered as a match to what’s called an “electropherogram” of the DNA found on a phone cradle.
“If it weren’t a clean mixture, it would be more difficult to exclude him. However, there are certain places in the electropherogram where he’s missing — and there are peaks there," Dr. McElfresh explained. "So, he would be excluded in that situation — no matter how many people were contributing. So, it is not easy to do these interpretations, but it is certainly possible and doable.”
Judge James Hankinson said both sides will present closing arguments Tuesday morning. After that, the jury gets to settle this high-profile, controversial case.
Once jurors start deliberating, they will not be excused from court until a verdict is reached. If Segura is found guilty, the penalty phase is scheduled to start Thursday morning.