Ken Bluew trial wraps up for the week after emotional testimony
Ken Bluew conferring with his defense attorney, Rod O'Farrell.
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
The Ken Bluew murder trial has recessed for the week after a fourth day of testimony at the Saginaw County Courthouse.
Bluew, 37, a suspended Buena Vista Township police officer, is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of 32-year-old Jenny Webb, a pregnant woman who was found strangled to death near a police shooting range in August, 2011.
The prosecution says the baby boy Webb was eight months pregnant with was Bluew's child.
TV5's Liz Gelardi tweeted that during opening statements, prosecutors said Bluew didn't want to pay child support, didn't want his wife to know about the situation and he didn't want a baby.
Following testimony at the Saginaw County Courthouse on Wednesday from several police officers, the director of Saginaw County's 911 service, Barry Nelson, took the stand on Thursday. Day three also saw friends of Webb take the stand to talk about her mental state, and jurors also heard from her OB.
On Friday, the first witness on the stand was James Terry, Webb's boss. Terry testified that Webb was a quality employee who was very energetic. Terry said his nickname for her was "smiles." Terry told the jury that his reaction to Webb's death as being described as a suicide was, "Not Jenny Webb, not here, not now."
The next person on the stand Friday was Kelly Guilbeaux, a friend of Webb's for 15 years. Guilbeaux told the jury Webb planned to put Bluew's name on the baby's birth certificate and go through the Friend of the Court for child support.
Guilbeaux said she had plans to take maternity photos of Webb on Aug. 31, the day after she was found with an extension cord wrapped around her neck, hanging from her SUV's roof rails on Outer Drive in Buena Vista Township. Guilbeaux told the court that Webb was going to name the baby boy Braxton, and that she texted Webb the night she died to ask if they were still on for maternity photos; Webb replied "yes."
Another friend of Jenny Webb's, Lisa Martin, took the stand Friday morning. Martin described Webb as being excited, said she was doing a lot of planning, and that she was excited about her doctor's appointments.
Martin said Webb did not initially intend to seek child support from Bluew, but later changed her mind. Martin testified that Webb's house was broken into three times prior to her death and for safety, she moved back in with her parents.
Jenny Webb's mother then took the stand. Liz Gelardi tweeted that Webb's parents have not been able to sit in court since they haven't testified yet. Dawn Webb, Jenny's mom, identified a picture of her daughter wearing her favorite necklace.
Gelardi reported that people in the courtroom teared up as Dawn described the moment police notified her of her daughter's death. Dawn stated in court that, "My daughter may be dead, but she did not commit suicide."
Dawn told police who the father of the baby was, and that Sgt. Waterman, the officer who told the family of Jenny's death, got very white looking and said, "I think we need to go sit down and talk."
Dawn Webb described on the stand what preparations Jenny had taken for the baby. Dawn said Jenny had all the baby clothes, she had them all separated out and had everything ready. Gelardi reported that many people in court were crying as Dawn testified about the baby.
Prosecutor Mike Thomas showed Dawn a photo of her daughter's purse and a picture of her car. Gelardi tweeted that on the night of Aug. 30, Webb's parents were concerned when she didn't come home. They then found out she was meeting Bluew.
Dawn also testified about reading Jenny's suicide note, stating "This is nothing that my daughter would've ever written, and there were things in there that weren't true."
Defense attorney Rod O'Farrell cross examined Dawn and asked if she looked at a police report to refresh her memory. Dawn stated that she knew the baby's father was married and that her daughter told her Bluew was separated from his wife.
Dawn Webb finished testifying around 10:30 a.m. and the court moved to take a break. Following the short recess, Angie Webb, Jenny's sister, took the stand. She said the two of them were very close.
Thomas asked about the break-ins at Webb's house, and Angie stated that she was concerned about her safety and that of her soon-to-be son's. Angie said that her sister was going to testify in court about the burglaries. Angie also stated on the stand that Jenny told her Ken Bluew was the baby's father.
Thomas showed Angie her sister's purse, which contained a brand new camera. Angie said the camera was purchased from Walmart on Aug. 30, the night she died. Angie stated that her sister was "giddy" about having a baby and so looking forward to being a mother.
Angie testified that she tried to get ahold of her sister on the night of Aug. 30, that she called and texted her, but could not get any response.
Angie stated on the stand that when she found out about her sister's death and that police were investigating it as a suicide, she said "That's [expletive]. She wouldn't do that."
The trial is scheduled to pick back up Tuesday at 9 a.m.
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