By RODNEY HART
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
MEXICO, Mo. – An Audrain County jury has begun deliberations Wednesday morning following closing arguments in the Calvin Duane Pettey murder trial.
Attorneys made closing arguments following one brief witness before the jury retired at 10:06 a.m.
Pettey is accused of murdering fiancée Sandra Fugate on April 15, 2010.
Marion County Prosecutor Tom Redington asked the jury to use common sense and talked at length about key witness Rebecca Kirk, who said she and Pettey had an affair in the two-plus months leading up to Fugate's death.
Kirk said Pettey made her throw away evidence and told her he killed Fugate.
Kirk had an affair with Pettey and lied about it, Redington said, but so did Pettey.
"You could see that she was upset and that she was telling the truth" while testifying, Redington said. "All of the other evidence, scientifically unchallenged, backs up what she said."
Redington told jurors to remember who was on trial.
"Today is not Becky's day in court. Today is Calvin Duane Pettey's day," Redington said. "Becky will get her day in court, but not today."
Redington said key testimony came from a statement Pettey gave to then-Hannibal Police Detective Seth McBride. When Pettey admitted telling Kirk he had "done something extreme for her (Kirk's) love," and then was told other detectives were interviewing Kirk, Pettey dropped his head and declined to say anything else.
"That's an admission of guilt if I ever heard one," Redington said. "His goose was cooked because the terrible secret was out."
Defense attorney Todd Schulze told jurors the case was complicated with "huge problems." He noted the times Kirk lied and said "all the evidence connects her to this crime" and that Kirk only told the truth when it was "convenient."
"The Hannibal Police Department decided they had this case wrapped up in a couple of hours because Becky Kirk had it wrapped up in a nice little package," Schulze said.
The fact there were four variations of plans to kill Fugate shows Kirk's statement that "never in a million years" did she think Pettey would kill Fugate was a lie. He also wondered why a white box containing the rifle Kirk said Pettey gave her to get rid of wasn't also destroyed, along with a small piece of the rifle found on her when she was questioned by police.
"Why on God's green earth did she not burn this?" Schulze said, holding the box. "She forgot, maybe? Really?"
Schulze said the box and the gun part were the only things remotely connecting Pettey to "anything."
"You have a bunch of evidence, a bunch of lies and you have Becky," Schulze said. "Strike off Becky, and what do you have? Nothing. The government hasn't got a thing."