CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee (CLARKSVILLE NOW– The murder trial of Kenneth Hudspeth, accused of raping and killing Crista Bramlitt, 23, in 1996, resumed Wednesday with final testimony.
On Tuesday, the jury heard from experts in DNA analysis and forensics, which ultimately led authorities to identify Hudspeth as a suspect in the case. They also watched the first half of an interview conducted by Clarksville Police Detective Michael Ulrey in April 2019.
On Wednesday, Hudspeth said he lied during that interview about having sex with Bramlitt and not remembering the events of the night he died.
The rest of the interview
The trial resumed with the remaining minutes of the interview Ulrey conducted with Hudspeth in Phoenix after collecting his DNA in April 2019.
âIt looks staged like hell,â Hudspeth could be heard saying to Ulrey after looking at the photo of how Bramlitt’s body was discovered.
âThe evidence speaks for itself. At the end of the day, people are lying. The evidence is not, âHudspeth was heard of about the DNA evidence allegedly proving he had sex with Bramlitt.
Hudspeth again denied having had sex with her. âThe evidence can speak for itself. It doesn’t speak to me, âreplied Hudspeth.
Minutes later, Hudspeth admitted that he saw information about Bramlitt’s death in the newspaper.
Ulrey placed Hudspeth under arrest and informed him that he would be extradited to Montgomery County to face murder charges.
District Attorney General Robert Nash questioned Ulrey about his theory behind who could have been responsible for Bramlitt’s death.
“Whoever slept with her killed her,” Ulrey replied.
âI saw a clear pattern change as I showed him the evidence,â Ulrey said, referring to Hudspeth’s claim that he had not had sex with Bramlitt and that he had initially no idea of ââa murder until he admitted he had seen it. in the newspaper.
During the interview, Hudspeth said “I don’t remember” nearly 100 times, according to Ulrey.
Ulrey then told Nash that it made him suspicious that Hudspeth’s memory obscured only the part of the time of Bramlitt’s rape and murder – neither before nor after.
The state rested its case and the defense filed a motion for acquittal, calling the state’s case circumstantial, which Nash admitted to be true.
âWe cannot avoid the circumstance in which Bramlitt was found,â Nash said, pointing to the position of his body.
Judge Robert E. Lee Davies denied the defense motion.
‘Once I told the lie, I stayed with’
The defense called on Hudspeth to testify on his own behalf.
âI was dead tired, I was sleepy,â Hudspeth said of the day of the interview. âI had been up for a day and a half doing maintenance on an apartment.
When Phoenix police arrested him, he said he had just taken a Xanax and was on his way home to sleep.
In the interrogation room at the Phoenix Police Department, Hudspeth said he was scared and nervous when Ulrey told him he was a homicide detective. He then recounted the day Bramlitt was murdered and how he ended up in his trailer.
He said he got up early and went to work that day, adding that he got home around 6:30 p.m. and had $ 100 to spend.
He started looking for a man in the trailer park where he was still buying drugs, and found him at the back door of Bramlitt’s trailer. He said he was invited and bought $ 40 worth of crack cocaine.
âI made fun of her (Bramlitt) a bit,â Hudspeth said, adding that he was now not sure that she was also smoking the crack he had just bought.
He told her he was going to give her the remaining $ 60 to have sex with her. They had sex, and when they were done he left, with her still in bed.
He denied having raped and killed Bramlitt.
During cross-examination, Hudspeth admitted to Nash that he lied in the first interview.
“I knew my DNA was inside of her all the time,” said Hudspeth. “You tell a lie, you have to tell another lie to confirm it.”
âExactly,â Nash said in response.
âOnce I told the lie, I stayed with it,â Hudspeth continued, adding that he was not thinking rationally because he had been awake for so long and was under the influence of Xanax.
The trial will resume Thursday with oral argument.