Evidence presented in 2010 killing

Published On: May 01 2013 04:03:01 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 30 2013 08:43:33 PM EDT

James Turnage is charged with 1st degree murder in the shooting death of Kirk Westfall. The 51-year-old father disappeared back in October, 2010. Westfall's family says the father was letting Turnage stay with him.


Two and a half years after a Yulee man's death, the man accused of killing him is on trial.

James Turnage Jr. is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2010 shooting death of Kirk Westfall (pictured, below). Family members say Westfall had been allowing Turnage to stay on his property at the time.

Westfall's body wasn't found until months later in South Carolina.

Prosecutors presented their case on the second day of the murder trial Tuesday.

"That's the bullet that we found within the skull," said Dr. Janice Ross, a forensic pathologist.

Westfall's family last saw him as he was leaving his son's high school football game. Westfall's son later found blood inside his home and his car gone.

Also missing, detectives say, was Turnage, who lived on the property. Turnage was arrested weeks later in New Jersey. Westfall's body turned up in a shallow grave in South Carolina on Christmas Eve, two and a half months after he disappeared.

Prosecutors say the discovery was made not far from Turnage's father's home. Westfall's family says they don't believe Turnage's story of self-defense, and they hope he will be convicted.

"Definitely, first-degree murder. There's too many things," said Tina Burrows, Westfall's sister.

"Hoping that justice will be done and that the district attorney will do his job to make sure everything is taken care of, and so the jury will see what the truth is," said Karl Westfall, Kirk's brother.

The defense will present its case Wednesday. Defense attorneys say Turnage is expected to take the stand to give his side of the story.


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