Testimony continued in the capital murder trial of Jeff McKelvey, accused in the deaths of Denie and Pam Tucker in their home in 2015.
Jurors heard the testimony of two witnesses on Friday.
Jeff Osborne, pawnbroker with Brett’s Pawn Shop in Irondale near Birmingham, testified he was involved in a straight sale of DVDs and a couple of other items with Henry Pyle on Sept. 29, 2015. The transaction, along with all others of the day, was uploaded to a web-based database and included customer name, items and amount.
Osborne said Pyle had been in the store before, accompanied by another man, a few weeks earlier at most. They wanted to sell what appeared to be chunks of black rock pressed together about the size of a baseball.
They told Osborne it was gold they had tried to melt down. He said he found it odd and there was no sale, therefore there was no record of it. Osborne pointed out the defendant in the courtroom as the individual accompanying Pyle.
Corey Brown, lead investigator in the case, took the stand next. Brown was employed for 12 years in the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office with seven of those in investigations.
Brown said Mrs. Tucker’s purse and its contents were scattered on the living room floor, and the television was on in standby mode. Closet doors were open in the hall, and a pistol box and another box were out of place. A gun safe was open and a fireproof safe sat in the floor.
In the first of three bedrooms, a money box sat open on the floor.
The Tuckers were found lying on the floor in their bedroom. Brown said he could see the gunshot wounds to her, but didn’t see a distinct wound to him right away. A 12-gauge was lying partially underneath Mr.
Tucker’s body. Brown said because of what he observed, he knew hours had passed since the incident occurred.
Among the evidence collected were three .40 caliber shell casings from the Tuckers’ bedroom and a distinct print on the storm door at the front entrance of the home. The print on the inside of the door was comprised of several fingerprints and a partial palm print. Brown said three print samples of different fingers were taken for analysis.
The investigation began with interviews of family members, closest friends, neighbors and associates. Brown said from all indications, the Tuckers were helpful and well-liked among those who knew them.
Because Mr. Tucker sold feed from his farm, people were occasionally on the premises. He also loaned money to several friends and acquaintances for their homes and businesses.
A couple of weeks into the investigation, Brown said the Tuckers’ son Scott received information from an extended family member about a couple of people asking Mr. Tucker for money outside the Cracker Barrel in Cullman. While investigators were able to obtain store video of the front entrance, they were unable to get video from the parking lot where the incident occurred.
Investigators checked at the gas station next door and learned its outside camera was not working at the time. The manager said he observed the event and told investigators the men were in a red Chevy
S-10 pickup and gave them a partial tag number.
Brown said that while they continued to investigate other angles, the incident in Cullman became their primary focus. The information given was to focus specifically on McKelvey, he said. McKelvey was found at his sister’s residence in Decatur and was taken into custody on Nov.
21, just over two months after the murders.
The trial stretched into its second week Monday. If McKelvey is convicted, prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.