Day One of Vaughn Ross Trial - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/16/02

Day One of Vaughn Ross Trial

In January of 2001, two bodies were found in a car off of East Canyon Lakes Drive in Mackenzie park. 31 year-old Vaughn Ross is accused of killing both 18 year-old Viola Ross and 53 year-old Texas Tech Library Dean Douglass Birdsall.

Police believe that Ross murdered both of them in an alley between 9th and 10th Streets near Avenue U, and his apartment at the time. Then, police say that Ross ditched their bodies at East Canyon Lake Drive in Birdsall's car. Police linked Ross to the crime by using DNA evidence taken from a bloody latex glove found in Birdsall's car, but Ross pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Now, it's up to a jury of seven men and five women to decide. On Monday, prosecutors gave their opening statements and 10 people testified, including Birdsall's brother and Viola's sister. It was an emotional day for most involved.

"I'm here to make sure justice is served in our community. Vaughn Ross has taken a very important person away from us, a very loved and dear person," said Shonda Parker, a family friend of Viola Ross.

The trial continues on Tuesday morning. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, stating there is enough evidence to prove his guilt, but the defense says this wasn't a one person job, and Vaughn Ross didn't have the time to plan this murder.

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