Son's 911 call played for jury
Jurors listened to a 911 call recounting the attempts of a boy trying to save his mother's life in the first day of testimony in a trial charging U.S. Marine Corps veteran Bourne Huddleston with the murder of his wife, Kristy, in 2012.
In the recording, the boy, then 10 years old, called 911 after finding Kristy Huddleston covered in blood in her dark bedroom during the pre-dawn hours of March 23, 2012. At the dispatcher's instructions, he cleared her mouth of blockage and attempted CPR. The recorded 911 call ended when paramedics arrived.
Kristy Huddleston, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined a single gunshot to the head killed her.
"It marks the beginning of an extensive investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and by other local police agencies in this area into the murder of Kristy Huddleston," Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Laura Cromwell said of the 911 call.
The trial against Bourne Paraday Huddleston, 45, of Medford began Wednesday after two days of jury selection in Judge Lorenzo Mejia's courtroom in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors allege Huddleston shot Kristy and had attempted to hire two men — one a classmate at Rogue Community College — to kill her before taking matters into his own hands.
Huddleston, arrested on the day his wife died, has remained in the Jackson County Jail without bail on charges of murder, attempted aggravated murder, conspiracy and solicitation of murder, and illegal possession of a silencer, jail records show.
In her opening statement, Cromwell told jurors the charges would be supported by crime scene evidence, blood patterns and evidence from computer and other electronic records that detailed Huddleston's relationship with a nursing student, the resulting tensions and suspicious Internet activity, including an apparent search for how to kill someone.
Huddleston claims in court documents that Kristy killed herself in front of him. Defense attorney Robert Abel said his case will call into question procedures for examining the crime scene and the credibility of some witness testimony jurors would hear over the trial's course.
"With some of the people who are going to be testifying, the primary issue here is credibility," Abel said.
Kristy Huddleston was a nurse care manager at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City. She also taught for the University of Phoenix online and had been working toward a doctorate.
Bourne Huddleston was a retired gunnery sergeant from the U.S. Marine Corps who had served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during his service from 1988 to 2009. He had been working toward his emergency medical technician certification at RCC, where he met nursing student Lori Roberts in March 2011.
Prosecutors said the relationship between the two escalated quickly and they started making wedding plans, with Roberts under the false assumption Huddleston had divorced Kristy.
"We see tension really building in this relationship," Cromwell said.
Prosecutors allege Huddleston had tried to hire classmate Michael Yorrie and his cousin to kill Kristy during fall 2011, about four months before Kristy died, but both refused. During a late-night study session at Roberts' home the night Kristy was killed, prosecutors say Huddleston left around midnight, with instructions to not tell anyone that he had left. It was about two hours later that the Huddlestons' son called 911 after finding his mother fatally wounded at their Pioneer Road home.
The son testified how he had been awakened by a scream before walking out to the hallway. He saw his father come out of a bedroom with an assault rifle in his hand and go outside for a few minutes. When Huddleston returned, he told his son to go back to bed. But when the son heard Huddleston's car start, he entered the bedroom and discovered his mother on the bed.
Police later pinged Bourne's cellphone, tracking him to Roberts' house in Eagle Point, where he was arrested. They also found parts of a disassembled pistol which they believe was the murder weapon.
The trial resumes today and is expected to continue into next week.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.