Murder trial underway for 6 year old crime - WFLA News Channel 8

Murder trial underway for 6 year old crime

Posted: Updated:
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Did 78 year old Audrey Mulligan die as a result of her injuries from a sexual assault, or did she die of other health issues? That's at the crux of the murder trial underway in Pinellas County this week.

Prosecutors said in March of 2007, Virgil Debose talked his way into the St. Petersburg condo of the elderly woman. Investigators said he violently raped her and fractured her hip during the attack.

 With the help of bus surveillance video, investigators tracked Debose down. They were able to link his DNA to semen on Mulligan's clothing. Investigators also found Debose's fingerprints on a newspaper left in the victim's home. Mulligan was hospitalized, and died a month later of an intestinal infection.

" He didn't intend to kill her but he did intend to sexually batter her and we're going to show that as a result of that sexual battery, as a result of that broken hip she received, as a result of the hospitalization, she died," said Fred Schaub, Pinellas Assistant State Attorney.

But defense attorney Keith Hammond told jurors in opening statements today, that the sexual assault injuries did not kill the victim. " You're going to have DNA evidence, you're going to have pictures and video, you're going to have all this stuff about sexual battery, but you're not going to have any scientific evidence about this alleged murder," said Hammond.

Before opening statements today, Debose complained to Pinellas Judge Nancy Moate Ley about the mostly white jury. The judge told him the jury had been legally selected.

 If convicted, Debose would face life in prison.

Debose is also charged with raping a 58 year old disabled woman, five days before the attack on Mulligan.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:11:28 GMT
    An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said.
    An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.
  • Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:11:21 GMT
    Pro-Russian militiamen who control government buildings in eastern Ukraine are showing no sign of relenting despite a deal between Moscow and Kiev.
    Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian insurgents who have occupied government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities said Friday they will not leave them until the country's...
  • Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed

    Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:01:33 GMT
    Rescuers scrambled to find hundreds of ferry passengers still missing Friday and feared dead, as fresh questions emerged about whether quicker action by the captain of the doomed ship could have saved lives.
    The investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster focused on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and on the possibility that a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives, officials...
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.