A parrot could be a key witness in a murder trial, but lawyers have their doubts
"Don't f*cking shoot."
These words, allegedly spoken by a parrot in a video clip, are believed to also be the last words of Martin Duram, who was shot dead in May 2015.
That is according to Duram's family and ex-wife Christina Keller, who believes the bird, named bud, could be a key witness to uncovering the events surrounding his death.
He was shot fatally five times in his home in Ensley Township in 2015, and was found with his wife Glenna, who survived, despite having a bullet wound in her head. Bud is also believed to have been in the room at the time.
Keller now owns the African grey parrot and told WOOD-TV that it has repeated the sweary plea in her former husband's voice. Duram's mother Lillian assured the station: "That bird picks up everything and anything, and it’s got the filthiest mouth around."
The family want it to be used as evidence, but lawyers are unconvinced about how the bizarre development would stand up in a courtroom.
"I'm not aware of any legal precedent for that," Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead told The Associated Press.
"Certainly, as we work our way through the case, that may be something to look at, but I highly doubt there is any precedent for that."
Springstead also stressed the practical issues with asking a parrot to swear an oath. "To a parrot, are you raising a wing, a foot?" he added.
No charges have been filed in the case and Duram's death remains under investigation. Mr Springstead, who has not heard the parrot himself, said it appeared not to be self-inflicted.