Testimony centers on text message in capital murder trial - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Testimony centers on text message in capital murder trial

Gregory Smith in court. Source: WBRC video Gregory Smith in court. Source: WBRC video
Many of the questions centered around the phones used by Gerronda Hill and Gregory Smith. Source: WBRC video Many of the questions centered around the phones used by Gerronda Hill and Gregory Smith. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Testimony in a capital murder trial that continued on Thursday centered around a text message.

Gregory Smith is on trial for the murder of his on-again, off-again girlfriend Gerronda Hill. He's accused of killing her in front of her sons, who were 10 and 13 years old at the time.

Much of Thursday's testimony was spent surrounding both the victim and defendant's cell phones.

In opening statements, prosecutors told jurors about a text Smith sent Hill just hours before killing her, which they say could be used to show Smith's intent.

Prosecutors say the text read, "Till death do us part. I mean that."

On Thursday, Smith's attorney intensely questioned the lead detective, Warren Cotton, about Hill and Smith's phones.

Cotton said he received the phones in May 2011 but did not turn them over to be analyzed by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office until September 2012.

Cotton testified that while the phones were in the custody of the sheriff's office, they got lost for a few months.

Defense attorneys argue the phones were not handled properly and as a result, the texts should not be admissible.

Defense attorney Wendell Sheffield also questioned Cotton's overall investigation, questioning his lack of notes, his efforts to find a weapon and why he only interviewed the victim's sons for a total of only 15 minutes.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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