Washburn V State


Washburn V. State Essay, Research Paper

The evidence presented to myself and the other juror?s proves that Tyrone Washburn is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the murder of his wife, Elena Washburn. On March 12, 1979 Elena Washburn was strangled in the living room of her family?s home. Her body was then dragged to the garage, leaving a trail of blood from the living room to the place it was found. Her husband, Tyrone Washburn, found her in the family?s garage on March 13, 1979 at 1:45 A.M. When officer Dale Chambers arrived at the scene he found her lying face down in a pool of blood. The solid evidence in this case proves only one person, Tyrone Washburn, is guilty of murder.

We were presented with many facts that all pointed to Mr. Washburn as the murder. In the house all of the entrances were thoroughly inspected by authorities, and they found no sign of ransacking. ?[They] examined all the locking mechanisms, all the doors and windows. In [their] opinion there was no evidence of any forced entry? (P.81). When police looked for fingerprints, ?They were all of the Washburn family and the maid? (P.81). There was no trace of an outside party; somebody usually in the Washburn house committed the murder. While in the living room, an officer found a drop of blood. The evidence technician was called the next night to run some tests. ?He sprayed the living room carpet with luminol. It is a luminous spray, and when it comes in contact with blood it illuminates? (P.82). To both men?s surprise the whole living room was illuminating. After spraying further the men found a trail from the living room through the kitchen to the garage. In the closet the men found a wet mop, which was tested for blood and also came back positive. Somebody tried to clean his or her bloody mess, and try to save himself. The physical evidence proves the killer was somebody who was familiar to the Washburn household.

The circumstantial evidence further proves only Tyrone Washburn could be Elena Washburn?s murderer. The morning of Elena?s death began just like every morning at the Washburn residence. ?[Tyrone] and the children went out to his VW and got in the car . . . When he got in the car with the children he remembered a report he needed . . . So he went back to look for it while the children waited in the car? (P.84). He was inside the house for approximately ten minutes, which is more than enough time to murder his wife. Witnesses say Tyrone was at school all day except for a half hour break for lunch, during which his whereabouts are unknown. Around the same time witnesses say they saw Tyrone driving away form is home. We believe Washburn went back home to move the body and clean up his mess. During the autopsy the doctor found traces of lividity and drag marks indicating the body had been moved well after the time of death. ?Next to the body was a trash can tipped over on its side. Beside the can were several lamb chop bones, an empty milk carton, and an empty doughnut bag;? (P.81) exactly what Mr. Washburn reportedly had for dinner. When asked if he took out the trash that night he first said that he had, then corrected him-self saying that he had not. He also made a statement to the insurance investigator, ?I didn?t look in the garage because I knew she was there the whole time? (P.85). There is enough solid and circumstantial evidence to clearly point Tyrone Washburn as the murder.

During the trial the defense presented us with some facts that would try to prove Tyrone Washburn?s innocence. ?A police criminologist, Pat O?Malley, Testifies he inspected Tyrone Washburn?s body the day after his wife?s body was discovered, but could find no scratch marks or blood? (P.83). Elena Washburn trusted her husband. They had been married for quite a while and had two children together. She would have no way to prepare her self for a fatal attack. By the time she realized what was going on it was to late, Tyrone Washburn was in full control. It is true that all of Tyrone Washburn?s alibis checked out, for the most part. There is no alibi that can account for his whereabouts during his half hour break. The only person who claims to have seen him at this time was a neighbor who reportedly saw him leaving his home. It is true he would not have had time to kill her during the late morning or evening, but in the early morning he and Elena were the only ones in the house. The half hour break would give him time to clean up his mess and move the body to the garage. There was no evidence presented to us in the courtroom that would cause us to doubt Washburn?s guilt.

This case is full of unanswered questions. It is hard to find solid evidence on both sides. Why was she murdered? Other than the $2,500 insurance money, Mr. Washburn would have to have No reason to murder his wife. We don?t know when he went to the garage. He said he took the trash out after dinner, and then changed his mind a few days later. We don?t know what to believe, but we know the food he had for dinner the night the body was found was on the floor next to the body. Why did the killer put the body in the garage? Washburn was probably waiting for the perfect moment to find the body. We are unsure of the time of death. One co-worker claims to have seen her in the office at noon, but Washburn would have only had time to kill her when he left for work at approximately 7:45. We don?t know what time his break was, or how long it takes him to get home from work. We were never given time estimates or numbers to work with. Washburn claims to have been worried about his wife when he didn?t find her at home, but why didn?t he look all through the house. Most people would check every room in a house if they wanted to find somebody. He didn?t even call her office or her friends to see if she was there. The list of unanswered questions is endless. Mr. Washburn should have been the first suspect because all of the evidence points to him. It is the fault of the investigating officers that the case is incomplete.

With the evidence we have been presented, it is clear that Tyrone Washburn is guilty of murder. The list of evidence against him by far outweighs the list of evidence in his favor. To not convict him would be a crime by us. We need to show justice to the deceased. The motive is still unclear. Maybe Washburn was having an affair with the maid or with Elena?s sister, but whatever the reason it is not worth taking a life. He took the life of a mother, the mother to his children to please himself. A man that would deprive his children of their mother should be deprived of his freedom, or even his life.

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