Speed Reads

the witness wore grey

A parrot's words could be used in a murder trial

Key evidence in a Michigan murder trial could come courtesy of the victim's 19-year-old African grey parrot, Bud.

Prosecutor Robert Springstead said he is studying the bird's words to see if they can be admissible in court. "It's an interesting novelty and it's been a great opportunity for me to learn about African parrots," he told the Detroit Free Press. Bud's owner, Martin Duram, was shot and killed in May 2015, and ever since, the parrot has repeated the phrase, "Don't f—ing shoot," The Guardian reports. Duram's ex-wife, Christina Keller, now owns Bud, and she told WOOD TV he is "using Marty's voice. It imprinted in his brain, and he can't let it go." Duram's wife, Glenna, is on trial for the murder, and she survived a self-inflicted gunshot to the head sustained on the day he was killed.

In 1993, the public defender of a man accused of murdering his business associate in Santa Rosa, California, wanted the court to hear that her parrot, Max, was in the house at the time of her murder and had started to repeat the phrase, "No, Richard, no, no, no." The suspect's name was Gary Rasp, and the public defender, Charles Ogulnick, told The Guardian he made the argument that it "wasn't hearsay, it was a recording device." An expert said it's likely the bird would accurately repeat words heard during a stressful situation, but it didn't matter — the judge said no, and Rasp was convicted and is serving a life sentence.