Woman testifies as witness of neighbor's murder

- Jennifer Strickland told a jury Thursday she woke up early one February morning to screams.

Strickland said she stepped outside to figure out from where the screams were coming and encountered her neighbor, Michelle Dukes, terrified and wounded.

"She was screaming. She had blood on her throat, blood on her t-shirt, blood on her hands. She said 'he has a gun, he is shooting,'" Strickland recalled for the jury.

Prosecutors say defendant Keith Dukes slashed his wife’s throat with a box cutter during an argument and then shot her in front of their two daughters. 

Strickland said she allowed Michelle and her two daughters, Mikaylah and Monica to hide in a bedroom, but Mikaylah, who was 14 at the time, said her dad broke open the door and began shooting. 

Mikaylah, now 18, testified in court earlier this week.

Another neighbor, Jeffery LeCroy said he heard the screams and ran to help but he was stopped.

"As soon as I got there, [Keith Dukes] pointed the gun at me," recalled LeCroy.

On the first day of the trial, Dukes' defense team told the jury Dukes was on testosterone medication, which made him extremely aggressive.

The defense argued this isn’t premeditated, first-degree murder.  They said this was done in a heat of passion because Michelle Dukes was having an affair, something her daughter, Mikaylah disputed.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Woman testifies as witness of neighbor's murder
  • Woman Baker-acted following hit and run fatality
  • 80-year-old Publix employee charged with grand theft
  • Person found dead after apartment fire
  • Massive industrial fire in Dade City now under control
  • Lyft driver leaves passenger after accident with other driver
  • Florida Aquarium offers discount on tickets for recycling Gasparilla beads
  • Manatee Sheriff's Office substation opens in Lakewood Ranch
  • Silver Alert issued for Pinellas County man
  • Girl killed when snow fort collapses