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Bird-en of Proof: Parrot's 'Testimony' Could Help Solve Michigan Murder

© AP Photo / BadruddeenAfrican Grey Parrot
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The family of a Michigan man who was murdered last year believes that his pet parrot is repeating the man’s last words -- and the bird’s testimony may end up being used as evidence in the case.

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Martin Duram, 45, was fatally shot five times in his home in May of 2015. His wife, Glenna Duram, 48, was found with a head wound and is currently in jail awaiting trial for his murder. Martin’s family believes his wife shot him over a money related quarrel and then attempted to kill herself.

Weeks after his death, the couple’s pet African grey parrot began loudly repeating an argument between what sound like a pair of male and female voices.

“Get out,” the parrot says in a male voice.

“Where will I go,” it replies in a feminine voice.

"Don’t f----ing shoot,” the parrot responds, once again using the masculine tone. 

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“I believe with all my heart that those are the last words of Marty,”  Martin’s ex-wife Christine Keller told the Detroit Free Press. “I recognize two different voices screaming and yelling and it always ends with, ‘Don’t f---ing shoot.'"

The prosecuting attorney in the case, Robert Springstead, is currently studying the parrot’s testimony to determine if it can be used in court.

“It’s an interesting novelty and it’s been a great opportunity for me to learn about African parrots,” he told the Free Press. “It is something we are going to be looking at to determine if it’s reliable to use or if it’s information we need to prosecute this case.”

Springstead previously stated that he was unaware if there was any precedent for a bird to testify in court. He joked that when the judge asks the witness to raise their right hand, it will be quite difficult for a parrot, telling the Free Press, “to a parrot, are you raising a wing, a foot?” 

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