By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 6, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Attorneys are about to make their opening statements in Henry Segura’s quadruple murder trial.
Segura is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, their 3 year old son, and her twin six year old daughters back in November 2010.
A previous trial ended with a hung jury.
Eight jurors - six jurors and two alternates - were chosen Tuesday afternoon and are now in the jury box.
Usually death penalty cases have a 12-person jury, but the defense requested a six person jury in this case.
Throughout the trial, you can watch a live feed from the courtroom at wctv.tv/livestream2.
Prosecutors flashed brutal crime scene photos on the big screen in court Wednesday morning as they began their opening statements in Henry Segura’s quadruple murder trial.
They also showed smiling pictures of all four victims in the case: Brandi Peters, six year old twins Tamiyah and Taniyah Peters and three year old Javante Segura.
Prosecutor Jon Fuchs contends Henry Segura repeatedly lied to police about his whereabouts the night of the murders November 20, 2010. Fuchs says Segura claimed to be home all night and challenged police to check his cell phone records to prove it. Fuchs claims what Segura didn’t tell police is that he had a second cell phone and when officers checked those records, it proved Segura was there.
Prosecutors showed a chart of Peters’ cell phone records too. It shows nearly constant use and then an abrupt stop at 6:53 pm and the phone powered down at 8:21pm.
“It just stops,” Fuchs told the jury. “Why did it stop?”
Fuchs said both Peters cell phone and Segura’s cell phone were inactive between 7:37 and 8:21pm.
Fuchs asked the jury who had the motive, means and opportunity to kill Peters and the children that night.
“Nobody forced their way in,” Fuchs said of the killer. “He was let in.”
Fuchs showed the jury that Segura’s second phone was in contact with Brandi Peters phone throughout the day of the murders and that each time he used *67 to block caller ID.
Fuchs said Peters sent a text that afternoon that seemed to indicate the two were arguing.
“You hang up on me?” the text said.
Fuchs said police investigators soon discovered Segura owed more than $20,000 in child support for his son and it was preventing him from getting a visa to travel overseas and work as a welder.
“It was standing between him and a six figure salary,” Fuchs said.
Fuchs said a DNA expert will testify that Henry Segura’s DNA was found as part of a mixture on the bathtub grab bar where the bodies of all three children were found. Two had been drowned. One had been shot.
“This is the most heinous crime committed In Tallahassee,” defense attorney Nathan Prince told the jury, “but it wasn’t Mr. Segura.”
In his opening statements, Prince said Segura has no intention of pleading the fifth.
“He’ll take the stand, he’ll testify, he’ll tell his side of the story,” Prince said.
Segura’s attorney said Segura owed child support to Brandi Peters and another woman and had learned to work around restrictions like licensing and garnished wages by taking jobs that would “pay him cash under the table.”
“He was a well known philanderer,” the defense said and owing child support was no motive for murder.
Prince suggests Brandi Peters and her children were killed in a hit by Vice Lords gang members.
He says convicted drug trafficker James Carlos Santos will testify that he ordered the murders, because he had recruited Peters to run drugs as “a mule” and she was skimming drugs from the loads.
The defense says the crime scene shows a frantic and violent struggle with blood spatter and bullet holes throughout the house. Prince claims the killers were members of the Vice Lords and left a spade near Peters’ body as a “calling card.”
Prince also says the DNA of another known drug trafficker was found on Peters’ phone, an unknown woman’s DNA was found beneath Peters fingernails and there were five sets of footprints in the blood pool, indicating the hit was the work of multiple people.
The defense contends Segura went to Peters’ home to have sex with her the night of the murders, but everyone was alive and well when he left.
Prince claims that Segura uses the second phone to communicate with Peters and other women to make sure his wife didn’t find out about his extra-marital affairs.
The defense also said Segura is “a tough guy” who doesn’t cry, but instead buries his emotions and tries to move forward. That’s why he claims Segura showed no outward emotion when he learned about the murder of his son.
Prince also showed the jury a picture of Brandi Peters’ hand - her fingernails ripped off and her knuckles swollen - indicating a violent struggle. He then showed a photo of a shirtless Henry Segura taken the day after the murders in which he has no visible injuries except a small scratch on his arm.
The first witness on the stand is a young man who lived across the street from Brandi Peters and her children.
Artron Timmons says he was about 14 years old back then. Timmons testified that Peters’ mother was trying to get ahold of her with no luck. Timmons says his mom asked him to go across the street and check on her.
Timmons says the door bell was broken and he noticed blood on the sidewalk and “when I looked up, it was on the curtains.”
Timmons says he knocked on the door and there was no answer. He called police.
Timmons said he had seen the children the day before playing outside. He says he noticed the kids had left Burger King wrappers in the yard.
The first police officer to arrive on scene says when she got to Brandi Peters’ home she saw “lots of blood.”
Officer Candice Jernigan says she pulled her gun and tried to look through the windows as a crowd of onlookers started to gather outside.
Jernigan says she saw a leg when she looked though the back door window, but both the front door and back door were locked and there were no signs of forced entry.
Jernigan says she waited for back up and when the second officer arrived, he broke a window and they went inside only to discover a woman dead in the living room and bodies in the bathtub.
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