Trial Continues in Woodcock Murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/05/04

Trial Continues in Woodcock Murder

Stacy Durrence Stacy Durrence

The murder trial of a Tattnall County man continues. Stacy Durrence is accused of shooting Lee Woodcock in March, 2002, outside the victim's house in Glennville. The crime sent shockwaves through the small community.

When Hugh McCullough heard about the murder of Woodcock, the attorney's first thought was former client Stacy Durrence. McCullough helped Durrence with trouble he'd had as a student at UGA. He also helped Durrence's family seek treatment for his mental illness. And he'd heard Durrence speak of issues with Rotary Corporation and its vice president, Woodcock.  The prosecution called McCullough as a witness.

"I wasn't surprised that something happened," he said. "I didn't expect it to happen to Lee." McCullough called police when he heard of the shooting.

Woodcock's family listened as investigators testified a shotgun found in Durrence's home was used in the murder. In defense of her brother, Mandy Durrence testified their family had a history of mental illness and her brother had become paranoid and delusional.

Attorney Steve Beauvais downplayed any grudges his client would have to his former boss as motive for the crime. Defense attorneys tried to portray Durrence as a troubled but well-intentioned young man. But prosecutors stuck to their original theme, that he knew right from wrong when it came to murder.

Late this afternoon, defense attorneys presented medical experts on Durrence's mental state. The jury could begin deliberations tomorrow.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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