League City 1983 Cold Case Murder: Closing arguments heard in triple homicide trial
LEAGUE CITY, Texas - A jury is deciding if a man murdered his boss at Corvette Concept, and two others during a brutal triple homicide in League City in 1983.
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The trial is being held at the Galveston County Courthouse and closing Arguments wrapped up Tuesday around 3:15 p.m.
It wasn’t only a triple murder but a massacre as shop co-owner Beth Wilburn was stabbed 114 times with a screwdriver, and she was shot four times in the head. Her new boyfriend and an electrician were also brutally killed in Corvette Concept in League City that day 40 years ago.
Jurors are now deliberating trying to figure out if a man who worked at the shop is the killer.
"The evidence is indisputable," prosecuting attorney Kayla Allen told jurors.
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For days, jurors heard prosecutors tell them Corvette Concept Co-owner Beth Wilburn, her boyfriend Tommy McGraw, and electrician James Craig Oatis were killed in the shop in 1983 by Jesse Dean Kersh. McGraw was stabbed 15 times and shot 7 times. Oatis was shot 10 times.
The triple murder, was not only a cold case but seemed frozen in time until Kersh was indicted for the killings in 2016.
"The method of the murders. 114 stab wounds with a screwdriver, and another set of stab wounds to Thomas McGraw and gunshot wounds on top of that," says Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Petroff.
Investigators say Wilburn was the target because they say at the end of the night a customer called, and complained their Corvette wasn’t repaired and prosecutors say Wilburn chewed Kersh out. Kersh was the worker who supposedly fixed the car, and allegedly he responded to that reprimand by attacking Wilburn. Prosecutors say Kersh then shot the electrician installing light bulbs off a 20-foot ladder and then killed McGraw, Wilburn’s boyfriend who arrived to pick her up.
Defense attorneys are blaming the killings on the shop’s co-owner, Bob Currie, who was Wilburn’s ex-boyfriend. Currie was never charged with the triple murder.
"Bob still had passion for Beth, and he was jealous of Tommy," says Defense Attorney Kevin Rekoff. "We’ve learned Beth put him in a financial position, and he was up to his ears."
"Bob had an alibi," says Prosecutor Kayla Allen. "No one has ever seen him or known him to have a .22 handgun, and he’s never had a silencer attached to gun. There’s no evidence that it’s Bob."
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A friend of Jesse Kersh’s, Darryl Krogman testified, telling jurors Kersh bought a .22 handgun from a gun show and Krogman says he helped Kersh attach a homemade silencer to it. Investigators say the bullets the three victims were shot with had certain scrapings that proved they passed through a silencer.
Kersh who testified in his own defense says that isn’t true, and says he did not commit the triple murder. Jurors began deliberating around 3:20 p.m. and were sent home for the day at 5 p.m. and are expected to resume deliberations at 9 a.m.