Defense calls no witnesses in capital murder trial

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Attorneys for a man already serving life in prison for a double kidnapping offered virtually no defense for their client Wednesday.

Eddie Pugh of New Orleans is on trial for capital murder, accused of shooting two men and killing one in Jackson County two years ago. The jury will get the case Thursday with plenty of evidence from just one side.

Pugh smiled and chatted with his lawyers during two days of testimony in his capital murder trial. But he had nothing to say to the jury. Pugh did not take the stand to defend himself.

But 911 tapes and witnesses told the state's case against Pugh. It is a story of a crime spree that began in New Orleans and ended in murder in Jackson County on October 8, 2008.

The prosecution told the jury it all began as drug dispute. They said Pugh and two friends tied up Rahman MoGilles and Byron Kelsey McCoy, then dumped them in an SUV and drove to a rural road in Latimer.

The jury also listened to a 911 call from a frightened teenager and his mom, telling authorities where to go. There, they found McCoy shot to death and burned inside the vehicle. MoGilles survived two gunshot wounds.

Police took the jury though the two state investigation. FBI Safe Streets Task Force agents testified that during a search of Pugh's New Orleans home, they found deep red marks that looked like blood.

"It was a more disturbed type of stain. It is not round drops, it is more spread out," Investigator Joseph Nicholson explained.

FBI analysis expert Tamyra Moretti said tests showed that some of those red stains were blood and linked to one of the victims.

"Mr. MoGilles is the source of the blood stain on the swab from the patio," Moretti said.

Though the gun used to kill McCoy appeared to have blood stains, Moretti said tests did not confirm Pugh's DNA on the weapon.

The defense tried to use that information to toss out the case, arguing the state didn't have enough concrete proof that Pugh kidnapped, shoot and killed the men. The Judge Dale Harkey denied that request.

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