A nineteen year old African grey pet parrot is being considered to be a witness in a murder trial.
The pet parrot has been repeating the words “don’t f***ing shoot” ever since his owner, Martin Duram, was shot multiple times and killed in Sand Lake, Michigan in May 2015.
The wife of the man, Glenna Duram, 48, was charged with the murder. She managed to survive a self-inflicted gun wound to the head the day of Martin Duram’s murder.
The Newago County prosecuting attorney Robert Springstead said his office was trying to study Bud’s words and learn if they could be admissible in court.
The pet parrot, Bud who now belongs to Christina Keller, Duram’s ex-wife has been parroting back the couple’s final words, switching between a male and female voice. He squawks;
“Where will I go?
“Don’t f***ing shoot.”
Christina Keller, the ex-wife of Martin and new owner of Bud has insisted;
“I believe with all my heart that those are the last words of Marty, I recognize two different voices screaming and yelling and it always ends with, ‘Don’t f***ing shoot.'”
The prosecutors of the case now have the headache of determining if the words are admissible in court. It will not be the first time that a parrot’s testimony has been considered for court.
Once in 1993, the Santa Rosa attorney Charles Ogulnick was the public defender for a man accused of murdering a business associate.
The murdered woman’s parrot, Max, an African grey like Bud, was in the home at the time of the killing and had begun repeating the phrase: “No, Richard, no, no, no!”
The defense attorney had been attempting to acquit his client whose name was Gary (not Richard, like the parrot squawked). The judge in the case ultimately denied any consideration of Max the parrot’s words and Gary Rasp was convicted and is serving a life sentence.
This current case is different as the pet parrot’s words would rather be used to prosecute the suspect.
The African grey parrot is native to Equatorial Africa (including Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda) and the specie is prized for an uncanny ability to mimic human speech.
They have been shown to perform at the cognitive level of a young child in some tasks and can learn number sequences and associate human voices with faces.