Lewis Starkey II trial: Defense expected to rest its case today

  • Lewis Starkey III, right, enters Franklin Superior Court during his trial. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 4/10/2019 9:44:50 AM

GREENFIELD — The jury has viewed all the evidence against accused murderer Lewis H. Starkey III, including fingerprints, handwritten notes and testimony from those who knew the quiet man as “Lew.”

Starkey, 55, is on trial in Franklin Superior Court for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, Amanda Glover, 47, after a late night argument on July 5, 2017 at their home at 179 West St. in Wendell.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office alleges Starkey shot Amanda Glover at close range with his shotgun because she told him their relationship was ending, then allegedly fired the gun at Amanda Glover’s son, Devin Glover, 27, who witnessed his mother’s death. Devin Glover was able to escape into the surrounding woods, where he called the police. Starkey has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution — led by First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl — rested its case against Starkey Tuesday after four full days of calling witnesses, allowing the defense — headed by attorney Michael Sheridan — to begin its evidentiary portion of the trial.

The defense is expected to rest its case today, and, according to Judge John Agostini, final arguments will begin Thursday before the jury begins its deliberations.

“The last words that Devin heard his mom say were, ‘What do you think you’re doing with that,’ and (Starkey) answered that question with his finger,” Gagne said during opening arguments last Thursday.

Many of the witnesses the prosecution called were police, who detailed the search of Starkey’s home after receiving a 911 call from Devin Glover the night of his mother’s death. They found Amanda Glover already deceased, shotgun shells on the floor, shotgun-fire damage to the door of Devin Glover’s bedroom and Starkey, as well as Amanda Glover’s car, gone.

Prosecutors allege that Starkey fled the home after killing Amanda Glover, driving more than an hour to Specialized Carriers in Chicopee, Starkey’s place of work, where he allegedly shot at coworkers there. Police testimony accompanied video of Starkey entering Specialized Carriers, and testimony from Michael Scribner, Starkey’s manager at Specialized Carriers, supported the prosecution’s version of events.

Starkey is not on trial for the Chicopee incident yet because it did not happen in Franklin County, but evidence from Chicopee has been introduced as related to the earlier Wendell incident.

Starkey was arrested in Orange after a five-day manhunt by Orange Police Sgt. James Sullivan — now Orange’s acting police chief — who testified that Starkey said, “You got the prize,” before being taken in without incident. Handwritten notes were found in the car, later determined to have Starkey’s fingerprints on them, with statements like, “Why did I do it?”

Other testimony came from Devin Glover, who stood firm on two points: that Starkey retrieved the shotgun from the home basement, and that Starkey shot Amanda Glover in front of him. Under cross-examination, Devin Glover admitted minor details he gave to police during his initial interview in 2017 may have been inaccurate, but said he was in shock after witnessing his mother’s death.

The defense has posited Amanda Glover’s death was an accident, not a murder, and that Devin Glover retrieved the shotgun from the basement of the home and pointed it at Starkey after hearing his mother and Starkey in an argument. Sheridan has said Starkey wrestled with Devin Glover over the shotgun and the gun discharged accidently during the struggle, killing Amanda Glover.

Sheridan said Devin Glover couldn’t recall basic details — like the spelling of his middle name or where he was — the night of his mother’s death because he was “nervous” and “involved” in the death. Devin Glover was diagnosed with autism a few years ago, and the prosecution described him as dependent on his mother.

The defense began calling witnesses to support its theory of an accident Tuesday, including James LaFlamme, the Orange police officer who was one of the first responding officers the night of Amanda Glover’s death. LaFlamme had previously testified for the prosecution.

LaFlamme testified that the officers “Weren’t sure what was going on at the time,” and were nervous when the 911 operator told them someone was in the dark surrounding woods — this was Devin Glover, on the phone with the operator. LaFlamme said Devin Glover, when found, was searched and put in the back of a police car for the officers’ safety.

Also called as a witness by the defense was Miranda Colombo, Amanda Glover’s daughter, who described her mother as “my best friend.”

Colombo testified that her mother, who would talk to her about “Lew,” never said there was any violence in the relationship, and that her mother discussed marriage with Starkey.

However, according to Colombo, the relationship was not “good” like the defense has described, and that Starkey and Amanda Glover fought “all the time.”

“She would come to my house and sleep at my house,” Colombo said. “He would kick her out.”

Colombo, like her brother, testified that Starkey did not talk much to either of them, with Colombo describing Starkey as someone who would “isolate himself” whenever others were around. She also said she learned from her mother that there had been many arguments between her mother and Starkey about Devin Glover living at the Wendell home.

“Lew wanted to drop Devin off at a homeless shelter because Lew didn’t want him there,” Colombo said. “And she would say, ‘If he goes, I go.’”

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

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