With key witness testimony, prosecution expected to rest case against Lewis Starkey III

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

  • Lewis Starkey III sits in Superior Court during his trial for murder. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ—Paul Franz

  • Judge John Agostini presides over the murder trial of Lewis Starkey III in Franklin County Superior Court. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ—Paul Franz

  • Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene services officer Lawrence Corder testifies in Lewis Starkey III murder trial in Superior Court on Monday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ—Paul Franz

  • Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ—Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 4/9/2019 1:24:26 PM

GREENFIELD — The prosecution is expected to rest its case against accused murderer Lewis H. Starkey III today, after the state’s key witness in the case testified Monday.

Prosecutors allege Starkey killed his girlfriend, Amanda Glover, who was 47, after a late-night argument on July 5, 2017, at their home at 179 West St. in Wendell. He then allegedly fired his shotgun at Devin Glover, Amanda Glover’s adult son, who was able to flee into the surrounding woods where he called the police.

Starkey, 55, has pleaded not guilty in the Franklin Superior Court case.

Devin Glover, the only eyewitness — besides Starkey — to his mother’s death, testified for the prosecution Monday.

As a witness, Devin Glover is central to the case because the defense, led by attorney Michael Sheridan, claims that Amanda Glover’s death was an accident, not a murder like Devin Glover said Monday.

According to Sheridan, Devin Glover retrieved Starkey’s shotgun from the home basement and pointed it at Starkey after hearing Starkey and his mother arguing. Sheridan said this prompted a wrestling match between the two men, during which the shotgun was accidently discharged, killing Amanda Glover.

But Devin Glover’s testimony supported the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office’s allegations: Starkey retrieved the 12 gauge shotgun, and Starkey shot Amanda Glover at close range in the face.

Devin Glover, sporting a white sweatshirt and a long purple-dyed ponytail, recalled his relationship with his mother to Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl. The prosecution had previously described Devin Glover, who has autism, as dependent on his mother.

“I loved her. I wasn’t as close to the rest of the family,” Devin Glover said.

Prosecutors have said Devin Glover’s presence in the home was a cause of tension between Amanda Glover and Starkey — Starkey himself gave an interview to police in which he said Amanda Glover “tricked” him into allowing her adult son to move into the home, falsely telling Starkey the situation would be temporary.

The couple was planning on moving to a Vermont “dream house,” but, according to the prosecution, Amanda Glover told Starkey on July 5, 2017 that their relationship was ending, and that she and Devin Glover were going to Vermont without Starkey.

Devin Glover, who is 27, described his mother as a quilter and seamstress, and she told him she would move out of the house if Starkey wanted Devin Glover to leave.

“We never had a real conversation,” said Devin Glover of his relationship with Starkey, describing his days at the Starkey home as spent in his bedroom playing video games and watching movies.

On the night of his mother’s death, Devin Glover said he heard yelling coming from the upstairs bedroom and left his own room to investigate, calling out “Are you okay?” to his mother.

Then, Devin Glover said, his mother came running down the stairs, Starkey following “about two steps behind.”

“I knew there was something wrong,” said Devin Glover, who testified he stepped in front of Starkey to defend his mother. Starkey then grabbed Devin Glover and pinned him up against a kitchen island, according to Devin Glover.

“I could feel my back cracking in ways I don’t crack my back,” said Devin Glover, adding that Starkey had one arm against his throat while he was pinned.

Devin Glover said his mother then yelled, “No,” and attempted to intervene, when Starkey then shoved her and went down into the basement. Starkey returned with his shotgun, Devin Glover said, and “immediately” pointed it at his mother.

“I believe she said, ‘What are you going to do with that,’” Devin Glover said, adding that Starkey then fired the weapon. “I knew I was next.”

According to Devin Glover, he then “struggled” with Starkey over the weapon but was unable to take it, before running to his room and locking the door. Starkey followed Devin Glover, shooting the doorknob off the door and gaining entry to the room, Devin Glover said.

However, Starkey did not shoot at Devin Glover, who was able to get past Starkey out of the room and flee the house, Devin Glover said.

Much of the defense’s cross examination dealt with discrepancies between Devin Glover’s original account of his mother’s death to state police and his testimony Monday. For example, Devin Glover told police in 2017 that he grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and wrestled with Starkey to escape his bedroom after Starkey shot the door open. Monday, he said he doesn’t know how he got past Starkey, but was surprised Starkey didn’t shoot him.

Devin Glover also said Monday that Starkey shoved him as he ran down the stairs to escape the house, something he didn’t tell police.

“I didn’t remember at that time. I was shocked,” Devin Glover said.

Also in his initial interview with police, Devin Glover said he hid in the woods until police found him and told him to put his hands up. He said he complied and went down on his knees without prompting. Monday, Devin Glover said that story was actually inaccurate, and that he was told to go to his knees with his hands in the air.

Sheridan prompted Devin Glover to say his mother and Starkey had a good relationship with no prior violence he was aware of. Then, Sheridan asked Devin Glover directly if he retrieved the gun, and if the death of his mother was an accident he has lied about.

“No. I would never,” Devin Glover said.

“You said you didn’t point (the shotgun) first?” Sheridan said.

“I didn’t point it at all,” Devin Glover answered.

Devin Glover stood firm on his recollection that Starkey retrieved the shotgun from the basement and shot Amanda Glover purposely.

“You pointed it at Mr. Starkey and said, ‘Get away from my mother,’” Sheridan said.

“Never,” Devin Glover said.

With the prosecution expected to rest its case today, the defense — which has sent out approximately 30 subpoenas — begins its evidentiary portion of the trial.

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

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