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WATCH: Murder Trial of Henry Segura, Accused of Killing Girlfriend and Children Day 6


[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 defense will begin presenting their case Thursday in the trial of Henry Segura 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 rested their case on Wednesday. They claim Segura committed the murders because he owed thousands in child support payments. They say 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.

Wednesday was a big day for the prosecution. They not only rested their case, but managed to keep evidence pertaining to Santos—including emails between him and Peters—out of the case altogether.

Sgt. Christopher Corbitt was their final witness, brought up to discuss Segura’s phone records. The defendant had told police he was at Peters’ house on Nov. 17, 2010. Corbitt said that this was true, but phone records showing this were from a second phone that Segura had denied having at the time. Corbitt testified that the defendant was using both phones the day after the murders.

According to records, Peters texted Segura about child support payments shortly before the killings.

Segura’s and Peter’s phones were inactive the night of the murders, according to records. But under cross-examination, a cell phone expert said that Segura was at his home at 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2010.

Monica Peters, Brandi’s sister, was briefly called back to the stand in order to identify other witnesses, then the state rested its case.

The jury was sent home, but things weren’t over yet. It was time for an evidentiary hearing to decide whether Santos could testify for the defense. Not that he would say much if he could. When he showed up to court on Wednesday, it was only to plead the Fifth.

Dr. Jesse De La Cruz, a consultant about gangs, appeared on the stand. He supported the defense’s stance, by saying that when stolen from, Mexican drug cartels will not only target the alleged thief, but also the alleged thief’s family. He suggested that the brutality involved in killing Peters and her children showed that this was probably a cartel murder, maybe by Los Zetas–a spade, a calling card of this gang, was found at the victims’ home.

Benjamin Whitfield followed De La Cruz to the stand. A former inmate, he claimed Santos admitted to hiring a hit on Peters and her children.

Brandi Peters’ neighbor, Ciesly Timmons, returned to the stand as part of this hearing. She testified that Peters had received a letter from Santos, warning of consequences.

Lakeisha Garland, another neighbor, testified that Peters’ indeed dealt drugs. A third neighbor, Darius Mount, testified that he had called police because of excessive dog barking near Peters’ home.

But the state brought up an investigator with the State’s Attorney Office. He said Santos had lied before about committing murders.

The prosecution won out. Judge James Hankinson ruled that Santos’ statements, including emails to Peters, were inadmissible.

“Quite frankly, I’m not sure anyone would believe what Mr. Santos has to say,” Hankinson said.

The defense tried one more approach. Inmate Gregory Washington testified that DeMario Paramore, who he described as “like a cousin to me,” confessed to killing Brandi and her children.

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

[Screengrab via LawNewz Network]

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