Prosecution begins showing evidence in murder trial
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY – Betty Gillespie’s voice cracked when prosecutors asked her how many children she had Wednesday.
“I had three sons,” Gillespie said.
She now has one.
Gillespie was the first witness in a first-degree murder trial of Larry Wayne Call. The 45-year-old is accused of killing Gillespie’s son, Kevin Michael Rufty, during the summer of 2010.
Rufty’s brother, Stuart “Craig” Rufty, was killed in a motorcycle crash just six weeks before the murder.
Gillespie told the court she spoke to 52-year-old Kevin Rufty shortly before church service Sunday, June 27, 2010.
He told her he would be home in time for supper, she said.
“He was upbeat,” she said. “He just sounded like Kevin.”
Rufty was found stabbed to death in his white Buick LeSabre on Grubb Ferry Road that afternoon.
Authorities believe Rufty was stabbed as he was driving and drove a short distance further before crashing into a tree and succumbing to his injuries.
Multiple knife wounds were found on his chest, arms and neck, first responders said in court Wednesday.
Along with Gillespie, six others testified Wednesday morning for the prosecution, including two Rowan deputies, an EMS and EMT member, a neighbor to the crime scene and a nurse who found the stopped Buick.
In an opening statement Tuesday, Rowan County Assistant District Attorney Tim Gould told the court the murder stemmed from a complex relationship between Larry Call and then-girlfriend Tamara Propst.
After learning of a sexual relationship between Propst and Rufty, Gould said, Call asked Rufty for a ride and then killed him.
Union County Judge W. David Lee is presiding over the case in Rowan County Superior Court.
More witnesses for the prosecution are expected to testify Wednesday afternoon. The trial, which is not a death penalty case, is expected to last throughout the week.
See Thursday’s Salisbury Post for more information.Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.
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