The killer of Martin Duram who was shot dead at his Ensley Township home in May 2015 may finally be brought to the book. The accused, for now, is his wife Glenna Duram.
The key witness is the dead man's parrot, Bud, his foul-mouthed African grey parrot who might have witnessed the gruesome killing. The prosecutor is not sure whether Bud's squawking can be used as evidence in a court of law.
Glenna Duram, 48, has been charged with first degree murder, after having shot her husband five times, including once in the head before trying to commit suicide by shooting herself with the same weapon.
Since Glenna had sustained a gunshot too, the police was led into believing that an intruder had shot the Duram couple.
Later during their investigation, they found apparent suicide notes written by Glenna to her ex-husband and kids at their home. A handgun found at their home later made Glenna a key suspect but they weren't sure till Bud, the deceased's beloved parrot, came ahead to testify.
Bud went on to live with Christine Keller, Martin's ex-wife, after his tragic death. She was shocked when she heard the bird say 'don't f***ing shoot!' at the top of his voice, mimicking his dead owner.
"Two weeks after the incident, Bud started going into rants I couldn't explain," Keller told the media. "Screaming, yelling, and always ending with 'don't f***ing shoot!' I believe with all my heart that those are pretty close to last words of Marty."
Martin's other relatives too, particularly his parents, believe that he might have overheard the couple's argument before Glenna went on to shoot him.
His mother Lillian agrees. She says that the bird 'picks up everything and anything' and though he has 'the filthiest mouth around,' they think he was there and has been repeating what he overheard before the fatal shootout.
Christina says she has heard Bud produce two voices- male and female- locked in a fierce agreement.
"I'm hearing two people in an intense argument," Keller, who believes "Don't f-ing shoot!" were Duram's final words. "Two people that I know, voices that I recognize."
"It's intense," she added. "When it happens, my house turns cold."
African grey parrots could go on to live for 40-60 years in captivity. Besides being able to mimic what they hear, they been shown to perform at the cognitive level of a 4– to 6-year-old child in some tasks. It has also been suggested that they can associate human voices with those humans' faces!
Glenna had been looking after Martin after he sustained serious injuries in an accident almost two decades ago. The two were not at the best of terms and argued frequently. It is also being suggested that Glenna would often joke about waiting for Martin to die as well!
Video clippings of Bud saying "Don't f***ing shoot!" have been produced in the court. The prosecutor Robert Springstead says he will have to first ascertain if anything the bird says is actually admissible before using his testimony as evidence.
Bud might not have to go to the court to testify but his video could be admitted as evidence. Perhaps.