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WATCH: Murder Trial of Henry Segura, Accused of Killing Girlfriend and Children Day 5


[Watch coverage of the trial on the LawNewz Network with in-studio analysis in the player above. For a raw feed of just this trial, see the player below this article.]

The trial of Henry Segura continues Wednesday in Leon County, Florida. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his girlfriend Brandi Peters, their 3-year-old son JaVante Segura, and her twin 6-year-old daughters who were not his, Tamiyah and Taniyah Peters.

Prosecutors claim he committed the murders because he owned thousands in child support payments. They argue he beat and shot Brandi, shot Tamiyah, and drowned Taniyah and JaVante. All four victims were discovered on Nov. 20, 2010 at their home in Tallahassee, Florida.

The defense, on the other hand, claim that authorities got the wrong guy. They say other people’s DNA were found at the scene, including that of possible suspect Angel Avila-Quinones. Another man, James Carlos Santos, said during a pre-trial hearing that he had ordered the killings from prison because Peters had allegedly stolen from a Mexican drug cartel.

On Tuesday, Segura’s longtime friend Calvin Moore testified first. The prosecution used him to establish Segura’s possible motive. He said the defendant complained that child support debt stood in the way of him receiving a passport that he needed to do welding work in Afghanistan that would pay him six figures. Moore also said Segura owned a .32 caliber gun, the same type that killed Peters (the murder weapon was never recovered).

Silas Thornton, a welding co-worker, said the defendant visited him at his home on Nov. 20, 2010, the day after the victims are said to have died. Segura called to ask if he could hang out, Thornton said yes, though he thought it was odd the defendant was in the area. They hung out, played football, and practiced archery.

Natasha Smith-Hawthorne, who had an affair with Segura, was next on the stand. She met Segura at a restaurant in early 2010, and started keeping in touch via email, phone calls, and texts. She said they communicated on Nov. 19 about getting together, and according to her, he said something about heading home. The defense got her to admit that she lied to police about being in a relationship with Segura after the murders. She claimed to have misled investigators because he was married to another woman at the time.

Monica Peters, Brandi’s sister, testified next. She had been living with the family for a few months, but not at the time of the murders. The prosecutors used her to help establish a time frame for the murders: she said she called her sister on the evening of the murders, between 5 and 6 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2010, but she couldn’t get in touch later that night when she tried reaching her between 9 and 10 p.m.

Tyra Wilcoxson, another one of Segura’s exes, testified next. She said he had asked her for her gun before the murders, but she rejected his request.

Witness Kelsey Kinard claimed Segura confessed to him while they were cellmates in 2011. They were locked up together for about a week. Kinard claimed he told Segura not to tell him about the case, but the defendant admitted everything to him anyway. Segura even wrote rap songs about the murders, Kinard said. This witness said he stepped up to testify because he has to report any crimes as part of his plea deal, is a father, and is “hoping” for reduced prison time although he isn’t promised any.

The defense did their best to discredit him, highlighting that there is no way to corroborate Kinard’s statements: he forgot the names of two other inmates who were there at the time, and he claimed that he mailed the rap lyrics to Segura’s wife. The defense also jabbed him on getting a reduced sentence for testifying on other cases. Kinard said he has cooperated on 3 to 4 cases.

Bruce Collins, an investigator with the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota, testified about a call Segura made from the local jail to a woman on Sept. 4, 2011. Jurors heard the audio.

Officer Mark Lewis, the lead investigator in the case, was last to take the stand on Tuesday. Interrogation video showed that a police interviewer confronted Segura with a contradiction in his story: the officer said there was evidence that he was talking on his phone after he claimed to have thrown it away.

Prosecutors expect to rest their case Wednesday after one more witness.

Stay with and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the case.

[Screengrab via LawNewz Network]

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