Witnesses testify in I-540 murder

September 30, 2009 7:15:48 AM PDT
Witnesses began testifying Tuesday in the murder trial of former Durham Pentecostal Bishop Robert Reaves.They talked about the day North Carolina Central University student Latrese Curtis's body was found January 30, 2008 in the grass near the Highway 401 exit on Interstate 540. The 21-year-old's body was spotted by a passing driver about an hour before Curtis' husband, Darin Curtis, reported her missing.

"I was going to make sure that she was dead and there was no need to, when I got close you could tell," said witness James West.

According to an autopsy report released by the Medical Examiner's Office, Curtis died from "multiple sharp force injuries." The report also revealed Curtis was beaten and stabbed more than 20 times.

Read full autopsy report [Graphic content]

Darin Curtis testified Tuesday that he passed the crime scene right after the body was found.

"I passed as traffic was going slow, saw the blue tarp, thought in the back of my mind that she didn't come home, went further down, I saw a white car and four doors. It kept sitting on my mind," he told the jury.

Prosecutors say Reaves killed Curtis because she was romantically involved with his roommate and he was jealous because he wanted to have a homosexual relationship with the man.

Prosecutors say evidence in the case will show a car that Reaves and his roommate shared was on I-540 around the time the body was dumped. In addition, Reaves' own pastor and video dispute his alibi that he was at a church service the night the murder was committed.

Reaves has been in jail since a judge set his bond at $2 million almost a year ago.

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