By Michael Freeman, Managing Editor
Testimony in the capital murder trial of former ACU student Brandon Dale Woodruff continued Tuesday in the 354th District Court in Hunt County after testimonies from current and former ACU students.
Prosecutors have alleged Woodruff killed his parents in October 2005; he has pleaded not guilty.
After nine days into the trial, Texas Ranger Jeff Collins, the lead investigator; Dr. Lynn Salzberger, medical examiner the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas; Charla Woodruff, Brandon’s sister; Michelle Lee, the mother of Brandon’s former girlfriend; current ACU student Lindsey Ferguson; former ACU student Robert Martinez, and other investigators in the case have all testified.
Martinez testified March 10 and said he had asked Woodruff for a ride back to Abilene from Denton on the night Woodruff’s parents allegedly were killed. Woodruff was almost an hour late in picking him up, Martinez said.
Ferguson, senior interior design major from Sunnyvale, testified Friday, saying Woodruff was popular on campus, according to the Rockwall County Herald-Banner.
“He was a very fun guy,” Ferguson said during her testimony. “He was very generous, very fun-loving.”
However, the prosecution is trying to persuade the jury that Woodruff is a killer after calling multiple investigators to describe the murder scene of Woodruff’s parents, Dennis and Norma, including Tommy Grandfield, an investigator with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.
“There was a lot of blood around the bodies,” Grandfield said.
Collins testified Monday and Tuesday and said he believed the brutality of the murders indicates personal motivation played a factor, according to the Rockwall County Herald-Banner.
“The injuries, especially the stab wounds to Dennis Woodruff, made it a very personal homicide, a personal cause homicide,” Collins said Monday. “It is going to be somebody who is close to the victims.”
Dennis was shot once in the head and stabbed nine times, while Norma was shot as many as five times from bullets fired from either a .44 caliber or .45 caliber gun, according to autopsy results. Salzberger said the shots were fired at close range, most likely inches away from the victims.
Although the murder weapon has not been found, Lee testified she had reported a .45 caliber revolver missing from her home in Rockwall just days following the murders.
The prosecution will continue to call witnesses before the defense makes its case, but when that may be is uncertain, said a secretary at the 354th District Court.