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.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • Riverview traffic light turned on following crashes

    Riverview traffic light turned on following crashes

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:08:02 GMT
    Two days ago, a newly installed traffic light on a busy Big Bend road in Southern Hillsborough County was not working.Power had not been supplied to the light yet, but that light is on after two crashes sent drivers to the hospital.
    Two days ago, a newly installed traffic light on a busy Big Bend road in Southern Hillsborough County was not working.Power had not been supplied to the light yet, but that light is on after two crashes sent drivers to the hospital.
  • Coast Guard looking for missing Pasco couple

    Coast Guard looking for missing Pasco couple

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:04 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:04:16 GMT
    Crewmembers from the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for two missing boaters near St. Petersburg on Friday night. Searchers are looking for 69-year-old Bogdan Makowski and his wife 61-year-old Elizabeth Makowski of Hudson.
    Crewmembers from the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for two missing boaters near St. Petersburg on Friday night. Searchers are looking for 69-year-old Bogdan Makowski and his wife 61-year-old Elizabeth Makowski of Hudson.
  • Coast Guard warns about fake flare emergencies

    Coast Guard warns about fake flare emergencies

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-30 00:46:08 GMT
    Emergency signal flares can be a real life saver. He feels, sending off a fake flare alert can cause real problems.
    Emergency signal flares can be a real life saver. He feels, sending off a fake flare alert can cause real problems.
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.