UPDATE: There was no verdict Friday in the trial for Matthew Pugh, who is accused of murdering 26-year-old Alexandra Ducsay in 2006.
The jurors asked to hear recordings of several people who testified in the trial. Jury deliberations are expected to continue Monday.
THURSDAY: Jurors in the Alexandra Duscay murder case deliberated much of Thursday afternoon but did not reach a verdict and are due back in Milford Superior Court Friday.
The lawyer for Matthew Pugh, accused of killing 26-year-old Alexandra Ducsay in 2006, argued in court Thursday that there is not enough evidence to find Pugh, 42, guilty of murder.
In closing arguments, the prosecution told jurors there is enough evidence to convict Pugh.
Police arrested Pugh in 2012 and charged him with one count of murder and one count of first-degree burglary in connection with the 2006 death of Ducsay. The trial started Feb. 10, and has included testimony from family, investigators, a former employer and Ducsay’s boyfriend at the time of her murder.
“This was personal,” said State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor as he began his closing arguments.
“This crime was personal,” he said, citing the brutal nature of the attack on Ducsay in her Milford home on May 19, 2006. He showed jurors images of Ducsay’s battered body and recounted police reports of multiple stab wounds and multiple instances of blunt force trauma.
Police at the time said it was the “most brutal crime scene they had ever been to,” Lawlor said. “Part of her head were completely missing.”
Lawlor said it was Pugh, Ducsay’s former boyfriend, who was angry because Duscay — a woman he both loved and hated, a woman he was “obsessed” with — had ended their relationship and was moving on.
Lawlor said Pugh stabbed Ducsay with a knife, and when the knife broke, he used a trophy from a nearby trophy case and he beat her with it. The trophy was missing from the case when police arrived and is still missing. Lawlor said the trophy is consistent with the type of weapon that might have been used to inflict blunt force trauma.
Lawlor talked about the piece of black tape found on Ducsay’s cheek and said experts determined it was “chemically similar” to special order tape at Pugh’s workplace.
He speculated that the tape bound Ducsay’s mouth so she couldn’t scream for help, and that her hands were bound so she couldn’t remove the tape from her mouth. He said Pugh removed the tape from Ducsay’s body to hide the evidence, but left behind a small piece on her cheek.
“This murder was personal,” Lawlor said. “This murder was cold. Evidence shows that this murder was planned.”
Intent often has to be inferred, but in this case Pugh told his cousin, Anthony Pugh, of his intentions, Lawlor said, reminding jurors of Anthony Pugh’s testimony. Anthony Pugh, who worked with Matthew Pugh at Chromalloy in Windsor, testified that his cousin had talked about killing Ducsay, Lawlor said. An arrest warrant affidavit recounts how Anthony Pugh told investigators that his cousin had talked about taking gloves and protective clothes coverings from work to cover up the scene.
“The defendant told Anthony Pugh he would do it in her home,” Lawlor said.
Lawlor said that according to court documents, Ducsay’s boyfriend at the time, Jermaine Morton, was on the phone with her the day of her murder when she said she had to go because her “ex-boyfriend” was there.
Lawlor noted that Pugh, when he took the stand Wednesday, admitted that he had been in Milford on the day of Ducsay’s murder, despite the fact that he told investigators he had not been in Milford that day — on Wednesday Pugh testified that he had gone to the K-Mart Shopping Plaza at the corner of Lansdale and Bridgeport avenues, which is close to the Ducsay home where Alexandra was murdered.
Defense Attorney Paul V. Carty told the jurors the state needed to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Pugh was in Ducsay’s house and murdered her, and he told the jurors the state didn’t do that.
He argued the black tape was only described as “similar” to black tape at Pugh’s workplace; there was no evidence Pugh had taken protective clothing from work; and Carty asked how Pugh could have gotten into the house wearing protective clothing without attracting attention.
Carty also said police found no blood or evidence in Pugh’s car, or on the clothes he was wearing that day. Carty said when Pugh met with police, he had no cuts, bruises or scratches.
Carty said police interviewed Pugh shortly after the murder: The interview was recorded but it was so garbled due to a technical problem with the equipment that it was not admissible as evidence. The lawyer said police failed to have hair found on the scene analyzed to determine if it was Ducsay’s or someone else’s. Pugh is bald.
Carty said a fingerprint found on a window was not Pugh’s nor that of anyone who lived in the house. He said there is no DNA evidence that proves Pugh was in the house.
“The state has to prove he was in the house,” Carty said. “It is not a question of what you think; it’s a case of what has been proven.”
The prosecutor faced the jury one more time on Thursday. He told them that cell phone records and other evidence indicate Pugh was following Ducsay from the gym in Straford, where she worked out that morning, to her Devon home. Lawlor said Ducsay was home at 12:29 p.m. because that is when she talked on the house phone to her boyfriend and when she reportedly said, “Why are you here?” to someone at her house.
At 12:07 p.m., Pugh made a phone call, and cell records place him on Bridgeport Avenue, near Ducsay’s house.
“This murder was about obsession and that Matthew Pugh could not take ‘no’ for an answer,” Lawlor said.
The jury began deliberating about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, and late in the afternoon asked for a copy of Jermaine Morton’s testimony. Judge Denise Markle dismissed them at close to 5 p.m., saying they would receive Morton’s testimony and continue deliberating Friday.
Ducsay and Matthew Pugh had dated for “some considerable period of time starting when Alexandra was 16 years old,” according to court documents.
During their relationship Pugh was sent to prison in Connecticut, and the relationship ended while Pugh was incarcerated.
On May 19, 2006, Ducsay was discovered dead in the basement of her home on Boothbay Street. Police were called to the house at about 4:40 p.m. that day after Ducsay's mother discovered her daughter beaten in the basement.
Police said the area was consistent with a violent crime scene. An autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner's office determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma and the manner of death was certified as “homicide.”
Questioned about the murder over the years, Pugh has consistently denied killing Ducsay, police documents state.