An FBI agent lays out how he believes the triple murder played out back in 1983.
Back in 1983 the residents of League City, Texas were shocked to learn of a triple homicide when the victims were found inside local shop called Corvette Concepts. While the police were eager to make a collar and had several suspects, the case eventually went cold as the trail of evidence appeared to dissipate. Almost 40 years later, after an FBI investigation into the case, the killings have gone to trial and Jesse Kersh is in the hot seat.
Watch a PIT maneuver send a suspect and cop both flying here.
Kersh worked for Corvette Concepts as a mechanic at the time of the murders. While he had been one of the suspects, he told police he had left the evening before the bodies were discovered and all three victims were still alive at the time.
According to Galveston County Daily News, FBI Agent Richard Rennison testified in court on May 16 that Kersh had gotten into a disagreement with Beth Yevette Wilburn, who was co-owner of Corvette Concepts, after a customer complained about a repair done improperly on a Corvette.
According to Rennison, Wilburn was questioning Kersh about the work he performed. In a rage, Kersh grabbed a screwdriver, stabbing Wilburn 114 times in the torso.
Rennison said James Oatis, an electrician who was at the shop repairing a light, must have heard the brutal murder of Wilburn and went to investigate. In the meantime, Rennison said Kersh went to his truck and retrieved a suppressed .22-caliber handgun.
When he stepped back inside, Rennison testified that Kersh shot Oatis eight times in the head. He then shot Wilburn, who was already dead, four times in the head.
Thomas Early McGraw, a Halliburton employee, pulled up to the shop shortly after. After stepping into the shop, Rennison says Kersh stabbed McGraw in the back with the screwdriver 15 times before shooting him seven times.
Kersh’s defense attorney tried casting doubt on Rennison’s testimony by highlighting statements about the discovery of the bodies made by Bob Currie, then co-owner of Corvette Concepts, and whether or not he entered the shop at the same time as the customer.
The big break in the cold case came in 2006 when FBI agents learned from a Darryl Krogman that he had made a suppressor for a .22-caliber handgun Kersh allegedly bought at a gun show before the killings. Kersh had told police before he didn’t own a .22-caliber handgun.
Investigators were able to determine from the .22-caliber slugs from the crime that a suppressor had been used on the firearm. On top of that, DNA found underneath Wilburn’s fingernails was analyzed, with investigators concluding that Kersh “could not be excluded as a contributor to the genetic material.” Kersh was arrested for the killings in 2016.