by: Mark Becker Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With no eyewitnesses and no confession from Justin Hurd, prosecutors have to make their case that he murdered three people in 2008, and in the second day of testimony they set out to do just that.
Hurd is charged with killing Kevin Young, Kinshasa Wagstaff and Jasmine Hines in February 2008.
Young and Wagstaff were killed inside their home on Patricia Ryan Drive and Hines was found shot to death along a wooded road in Huntersville several hours later.
All three had been gagged and shot.
On Tuesday, prosecutors called a string of witnesses including a police officer who had answered two calls to the house earlier that night.
Officer Mike Travis said he was checking the house after a woman had called 911 whispering into the phone.
"I tried the doorbell and it didn't work, so I knocked again," Travis said.
When he didn't get any response, Travis said he left thinking the house may have been abandoned.
Several hours later, neighbors called 911 when they saw the house on fire. After putting the fire out, firefighters found the bodies of Wagstaff and Young inside.
Hines was found several miles away next to Young's abandoned car.
Prosecutors said her body had been doused with gasoline. The most compelling testimony Tuesday may have come from convenience store clerks who described an unusual sale that night.
"I do remember some lighters, and I do remember he was looking to get some gas cans," one clerk told jurors.
The jury then saw surveillance video showing a customer buying three gas cans and the lighters along with some plastic trash bags.
Police later identified the man buying those items as Nate Sanders. They believe he was involved in the murders, but Sanders himself was killed eight months later.
Hurd never showed up in the video and neither clerk testified that they saw him at the convenience store that night. That leaves prosecutors with a key piece missing from their puzzle and Hurd's defense team with someone else to blame for the murders.