A Michigan woman has been convicted of murdering her husband after the pet parrot who witnessed the attack apparently repeated his last words.
Glenna Duram, 49, was found guilty of first-degree murder on July 19 after a day and a half of jury deliberation, according to WXMI.
Glenna had stood accused of shooting her husband, Martin Duram, five times before turning the gun on herself in a failed suicide attempt. The murder took place in May 2015.
Originally, police believed that Glenna and Martin were victims of a double homicide. But the investigation took a strange turn when the couple’s pet parrot, Bud, was recorded saying, “Don’t f***ing shoot.”
“That bird picks up everything and anything,” Martin’s mother, Lillian Duram, told WOOD at the time. “And it’s got the filthiest mouth around.”
In the video, Bud, an African grey parrot, appears to mimic an argument between two people, switching back and forth between Glenna’s voice and Martin’s voice.
“I personally think he was there and he remembers it and he was saying it,” said the victim’s father, Charles Duram.
Doreen Plotkowski, the owner of Casa la Parrot in Grand Rapids, said at the time that African grey parrots have been known to accurately imitate both male and female voices.
“It’s definitely an argument between a man and a woman,” she told WOOD after seeing the video. “In my mind, it’s something that he’s heard, definitely heard before. And if it’s fresh in his mind, he might even say it more now.”
Bud’s comments were not used as evidence during the trial. Instead, the prosecution pointed to police records that detailed financial difficulties, gambling problems and a rocky marriage. Glenna also left three suicide notes — one to her ex-husband and the others to her two children.
“I’m sorry but I love you and soo sorry I’ve been a disappointment to you these last 12 yrs or so,” one note reads, according to WOOD. “Please forgive me [you’re] one of the best things I ever did — Love mom.”
The victim’s family told WXMI that sitting through the trial was a painful experience.
“I feel hurt that both families had to go through this, because we both used to be close and go camping together,” mother Lillian said. “It just isn’t good. … Two years is a long time to wait for justice. To sit there and watch her be emotionless when she sees the pictures, kind of hurt too.”
While Glenna’s family declined to comment on the verdict, her defense attorney, Mark Miller, did make a statement.
“Obviously we respect the decision of the jury, that’s our legal system, we have the greatest legal system in the world,” he said. “It’s not the result that we wanted but we respect the decision of the jury.”
Glenna faces life in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 28.