With jury selected, arguments in Lewis Starkey III begin today

  • Lewis Starkey III, in blue, confers with his lawyer, Michael Sheridan, during jury selection for his murder trial in Franklin Superior Court. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 4/3/2019 7:11:36 PM

GREENFIELD — Arguments start today in the case of Lewis H. Starkey III, now that a full jury was impaneled after three days of interviews with nearly 200 potential jurors.

There will be 16 jurors weighing the evidence against Starkey, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Amanda Glover, after an argument at their 179 West St. home in Wendell on the night of July 5, 2017.

The 55-year-old is also accused of then firing his shotgun at Amanda Glover’s adult son, Devin Glover, who was able to escape into the surrounding Wendell woods where prosecutors say he called the police. Starkey has pleaded not guilty in the Franklin Superior Court trial.

The trial will begin with opening arguments from the prosecution then defense Thursday morning, followed by the prosecution’s introduction of evidence, both in the form of witnesses and physical-evidence “exhibits.”

The prosecution is led by First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Devin Glover, who the prosecution claims is a witness to his mother’s death, is expected to testify for the prosecution during the trial. As a man with autism, jurors have been told they must put aside any feelings or information they have about the condition, and treat Devin Glover as they would other witnesses, judging his credibility based solely on his testimony and evidence presented during the trial.

It is unknown how much, if any, forensic evidence will be presented during the trial. Suhl previously argued in court that DNA evidence should be collected from Starkey via a buccal swab from inside his mouth. Judge John Agostini, who is presiding over the case, allowed the motion and a sample was collected from Starkey while he was at the courthouse.

However, the prosecution has brought up the notion of a trial without forensic evidence throughout interviews with potential jurors, only selecting jurors who said they would not necessarily have to see DNA or fingerprint evidence to deliver a guilty verdict.

Gagne has said that Starkey’s DNA should be expected at the crime scene because the alleged murder happened in Starkey’s home.

Other witnesses include law enforcement, prompting the defense to weed out potential jurors who favor police officers’ testimony over that of private citizens.

The defense, led by attorney Michael Sheridan, will present its evidence after the prosecution rests.

It is unknown what the defense’s argument will be — the defense is not required to offer any counterargument because the burden of proof is held by the state. However, the defense has sent out approximately 30 subpoenas for its case but has stated it will not challenge the cause of Amanda Glover’s death, which the prosecution says was close-range shotgun fire to the face.

A viewing of the Wendell property, during which jurors will be taken to the former crime scene and view the property layout, was originally scheduled Thursday but has been pushed to Friday due to the amount of time it took to impanel a jury.

The evidentiary portion of the trial, from both the prosecution and defense, will be followed by closing arguments and then jury deliberation. Agostini, the prosecution and defense previously predicted the trial would last about two weeks, including jury selection.

Reach David McLellan at
dmclellan@recorder.com or
413-772-0261, ext. 268.

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