As It Happens

UPDATED: Michigan woman convicted of murder in parrot witness case

A jury has convicted a western Michigan woman of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband in a crime apparently witnessed by the man's pet parrot.
Christina Keller thinks her parrot Bud may have witnessed her ex-husband's murder. (Christina Keller)
Listen7:52

UPDATE: A jury has convicted a western Michigan woman of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband in a crime apparently witnessed by the man's pet parrot.

Glenna Duram, 49, was found guilty Wednesday of killing 46-year-old Martin Duram, who was shot five times in May 2015. She will be sentenced on Aug. 28.

Martin Duram's ex-wife, Christina Keller, had said that after the slaying, the pet parrot, Bud, repeated "don't f---king shoot" in Martin Duram's voice. The prosecutor considered using Bud's comments as evidence but they were later dismissed. 

As It Happens spoke with Keller about Bud in June 2016. Read our original story below. 


He may be a key witness to a murder, but he's unlikely to take the stand — because he's a bird. 

Bud, an African grey parrot, lives with Christina Keller since her ex-husband, Marty Duram, was shot to death last year.

Keller said Bud has been squawking what she believes is evidence that the parrot witnessed her ex-husband's murder. Bud can recite crucial evidence of a heated exchange moments before his death, Keller said. 

"I think it's a piece of the puzzle. I think it's possible last words," Keller told As It Happens host Carol Off. "I truly believe, with all my heart, most of that comes from that night."

Bud is a very intelligent bird, says Christina Keller. (Christina Keller)


She said two weeks after she took Bud into her home, the parrot started squawking: "Don't f--king shoot!"

It sent chills down her spine and prompted her to make a recording,she said.

She believes the bird is mimicking an exchange it witnessed — and one of the voices sounds just like her ex-husband's.

"It terrified me," Keller said. "I hear screaming, yelling and fear."

Parrot 'murder witness' now in the care of this woman 0:30


Keller said she thinks there are two distinct voices in Bud's rant.

She said she hears her ex-husband, Marty Duram, who Bud is known to mimic. But she said she also believes she hears Glenna, Marty's wife, who was also shot, but survived.

"To listen to the whole two-minute rant and to know Marty, and to know Glenna, and to know the things that they would say to each other, it's haunting," Keller said. "My house turns cold. I get chills when I hear it."

Originally, police thought the Durams were shot by the same assailant, but now police confirm Glenna is a suspect in the shooting.

Christina Keller and her parrot, Bud. (Christina Keller)


According to WOODTV, Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead has said "there's some evidence to support" Keller's theory.

Keller said the police have not heard her recording of the parrot. No charges have been laid in the killing.

"I looked through the police report. About four neighbours said, 'You need to talk to that bird,'" Keller said. "I know it sounds ridiculous,  but that's how intelligent Bud is and how much people believed that he witnessed this."

Keller admitted Bud is foul-mouthed and estimated the bird's vocabulary exceeds 400 words.

But she dismissed ideas that she is a "spiteful ex-wife" who taught the bird the rant.

Keller said the recording is legitimate evidence in the case.

With files from Associated Press
 

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