October 6, 2009
Posted: 07:38 AM ET
CANTON, Mississippi–In our new live trial, Mississippi v Carla Hughes, prosecutors allege that Hughes, a middle-school teacher, broke into the home of victim Avis Banks in November 2006 and shot, stabbed and slashed her multiple times before making a fast get a way. Banks was found dead in her garage, in a pool of her own blood.
Carla Hughes sits in court as opening statements are delivered
Banks, a 27-year-old day-care teacher, was pregnant at the time of her murder and lived with her fiance, Keyon Pittman. Pittman and Banks were set to be married one month later.
Defendant Hughes and Pittman taught at the same school, and were having an affair.
In their opening statement, prosecutors for the state told jurors that they relied on the defendant's cousin, who came forward several days after Banks' murder, saying Hughes had recently asked for protection. A loaded .38 caliber weapon was loaned to Hughes, prosecutors asserted.
Hughes then allegedly returned an empty gun to cousin Patrick Nash shortly after Banks was killed. .38 caliber bullets were found in Banks' body.
Prosecutors will also be relying on footprints at the scene matching shoes Hughes had in her closet, as well as blood spatter on the top of those shoes.
Cell phone tower records confirm what prosecutors say also will show that Hughes was close to the home of Banks when the woman was murdered.
The defense brought out other facts in its opening statements, which they believe will show that Hughes is not the double murderer that prosecutors portray her to be.
Keyon Pittman, the lover of both women, was not at basketball practice that early evening they told the jury, and no one will be able to testify where he was.
Pittman and Hughes both wore the same size shoe and were known to exchange shoes. Furthermore, the defense stated to the jury, Pittman had a key to Hughes apartment and continued to have access after she was arrested for the double homicide.
If convicted, Carla Hughes could face the death penalty. Stay tuned to In Session for complete coverage of this case.
–Jean Casarez, In Session correspondent
Filed under: Uncategorized
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