Local News

Closing Arguments Wrap Up in Boggess Murder Trial

Posted May 29, 2007 5:42 a.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2007 6:10 p.m. EDT

— Closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday in a Durham murder case that's more than 10 years old.

Todd Boggess is being re-tried for the beating death of Danny Pence, 16, who was found dead in a wooded area of northern Durham County in 1995.

Boggess was convicted and sentenced to die, but his conviction was overturned on a technicality.

On Tuesday, the judge charged the jury and planned to finish instructing jurors Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors have said Boggess and Melanie Gray kidnapped Pence from Wilmington, brought him to Durham and killed him before stealing his car. Gray, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, was set free in 2005.

Sharlene Pence, Danny's mother, said she is seeking closure.

"I want to reember all the good things about him," she said. "I don't want to remember how he died, so I pray after the next few weeks, I won't have to do that again."

Pence said she carries her son's senior picture with her everywhere.

"We had so many plans for his life and they were all taken away," she said.

The defense rested Friday after presenting just one witness. Defense attorneys claim Boggess was in an altered mental state during the murder.

Prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty in the case.