Trial begins in Lee Co. for second defendant in 2016 capital murder case

Trial begins in Lee Co. for second defendant in 2016 capital murder case

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - The trial began Tuesday for a man accused of committing capital murder during a home invasion in East Alabama three years ago.

Robert Wiggins was the second of four suspects to go to trial. This came after the murder of an 85-year-old man who was shot and killed in his home in Cusseta, Alabama in 2016.

The state argued Wiggins and two other co-defendants broke into Bennie Rudd’s home and intentionally murdered him during a burglary.

The defense said there is evidence of a burglary and that one of the other co-defendants shot the victim, but they argued the intent wasn’t there for Wiggins because he was in another room when the shots were fired.

“During the course of what happened, Mr. Wiggins was in another room behind the wall and was struck by a bullet in the back," said William Whatley, Wiggins’ defense attorney said during opening statements.

The Lee County District Attorney said according to Alabama law, if a person is a part of a crime, he or she is still charged, regardless.

“When you act in concert, the law says you’re charged as a principle act," he said. "If four people go rob a bank, you’re all guilty because you all facilitated it.”

The victim’s wife, Kay Rudd, was the first to take the stand. She recalled the events of the night of the burglary and murder of her husband during her testimony.

“I remember hearing two shots, and then I heard Bennie shoot,” she said. “And then Bennie told me, ‘Kay, they got me.’”

One of the other co-defendants, Davonte Mike, was found guilty of capital murder last fall.

Khaleef Marshall and Shakeela Daily are also charged with capital murder in this case.

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