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Opening statements made in Myron Britt trial

Posted July 6, 2009

— Opening statement were made Monday in the retrial of a Cary man accused of killing his wife almost six years ago.

Myron Britt is charged with first-degree murder in the August 2003 shooting death of his wife, Nancy Britt, a Wake County teacher, at her sister's Robeson County home.

Cary murder trial gets under way Cary murder trial gets under way

In his opening statement, Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said a month before the school teacher's murder, the defendant was given a .25-caliber pistol by his brother.

Myron Britt told investigators that two years earlier, the pistol accidentally fired inside his mother's home, leaving a bullet in the floor. He said he threw the gun in Jordan Lake after his wife became upset about having it in the house. The pistol was never found.

However, prosecutors said the State Bureau of Investigation determined that the bullet in Nancy Britt was consistent with the bullet removed from her mother-in-law's home.

Defense attorney Jim Parrish challenged the SBI's report. In response, the judge limited testimony on firearms evidence, telling the state that it cannot testify that both bullets came from the same gun – or say there is a "match."

In his opening statement, Parrish said two expert witnesses will testify that there is little comparison between the two bullets to make a match.

The district attorney asked the judge to reconsider his "match" testimony ruling. The judge has his motion "under advisement."

The state's first witness was another sister of Nancy Britt's, Judy Ivey, who lives in the home where the shooting happened. She said nothing was out of place after the shooting, supporting the state's claim that robbery and burglary were not a motive.

The district attorney said Myron Britt was in financial trouble and wanted to collect on his wife's $800,000 life insurance policy.

Defense attorneys have maintained that the couple was happy and that Myron Britt had no motive to kill his wife.

A June 2006 trial ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction.

Testimony resumes Tuesday morning. If convicted, Myron Britt could face the death penalty.


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  • La_Grange_Dude Jul 7, 2009

    A bullet that is consistant with another and a bullet that is a match with another are two completely different things. The judge said only that they cannot say that the two bullets are a match. If you pruchased a gold ring and later found out that it was not known for sure that it was gold, the only thing we can say is that it is consistant with other gold properties, would you feel cheated? Probaly want your money back. In a death penalty case, we need facts, not some prosecutors opinion. We all know from the Duke Lacross case what prosecutors can do with their opinions. Let the facts speak for themselves and I hope that if this man did this, which I personally think he probaly did, that he gets the death penalty.

  • JAT Jul 7, 2009

    Why can't we let both sides present their evidence and let the jury decide?? Of course, he'd want a different opinion - and a judge who won't let the prosecution present the evidence they have.

  • La_Grange_Dude Jul 7, 2009

    "JAT" Why is it absolutely crazy to ask that if you cannot "without a doubt" say that both bullets come from the same gun, then don't make the comparision? This man is on trail for murder, could get the death penalty, why wouldn't we want to be absolutely sure he did it? If you were in his shoes, I am sure you would have a different opinion.

  • JAT Jul 7, 2009

    It's absolutely crazy that the prosecution isn't allowed to say that the bullets are from the same gun! What good is evidence if you're not allowed to mention it?? It's just crazy that judges allow things like this to happen. You know, if you weren't allowed to mention all the bad things about Charles Manson, he'd have been let off, too! Lawyers need to realize that making sure someone gets a fair trial is one thing but getting someone off just to say you "won" is NOT what a justice is about. It's not a contest to see how many wins you can get - it's about protecting society. I just don't get it. And then you have the police in Gaffney, SC wondering how someone with a 25-page rap sheet can be out walking the streets - well, this is how!