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FIRST ON WITN: Albert Gurkin Found Guilty Of Strangling Wife; Gets Up To 20 Years

A Martin County man has been found guilty of second degree murder for killing his wife nearly four years ago.

The jury reached its verdict in the Albert Gurkin case around 12:40 p.m. Jurors deliberated about four hours yesterday and today in the case.

Jewel Gurkin was murdered back in 2009, and prosecutors told jurors in closing arguments yesterday that the man strangled and then buried his wife because the two were having marital problems.

Defense Attorney Jay Dupree said, "Obviously we disagree with some rulings of the court as would be the case in any matter. Those issues will be dealt with later."

District Attorney Seth Edwards told us, "Although I would have liked to have seen a first degree conviction, I certainly respect the second degree conviction and I'm just glad that there's some closure for the family."

The judge sentenced Gurkin to serve a minimum 15-3/4 years to nearly 20 years in prison. The man will get credit for more than 3-1/2 years spent in the county jail awaiting trial.


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Jurors have begun their second day of deliberations in the trial of a man who is accused of strangling his wife and then burying her behind their home.

Albert Gurkin, Sr. could receive life in prison if convicted of first degree murder. Jewel Gurkin was murdered back in 2009, but the husband's trial had seen numerous delays until it began last week in Williamston.

Jurors deliberated for about an hour late yesterday afternoon before the judge sent them home for the night. They resumed deliberations at 9:35 a.m. this morning.


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Prosecutors say a Martin County man strangled and then buried his wife because the two were having marital problems.

Jurors in the Albert Gurkin, Sr. murder trial got the case shortly before 4:00 p.m. and deliberated for about an hour before being sent home for the night.

Gurkin is accused of killing his wife Jewel back in 2009 and then burying her body behind their home near Bear Grass.

In closing arguments this afternoon, prosecutors told jurors that the woman's death was no accident because you can't accidentally strangle someone.

But Gurkin's attorney says the man blacked out and he doesn't remember doing it. They told jurors that the wife attacked her husband with a stun gun while he was getting ready for bed, so he strangled the woman. The lawyer says Gurkin panicked and disposed of the body.

Jurors have four options in the case, guilty of first degree murder, guilty of second degree murder, guilty of voluntary manslaughter or not guilty.

They will resume deliberations Thursday morning.


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Jurors have started deciding the fate of a Martin County man who is accused of killing his wife.

Albert Gurkin, Sr. was arrested back in 2009 for the death of his wife, Jewel Gurkin. The woman's body was found buried behind their home.

The defendant took the witness stand yesterday.

This afternoon lawyers from both sides presented their final arguments and later the judge charged the jury with four possible verdicts. Those are guilty of first degree murder, guilty of second degree murder, guilty of voluntary manslaughter or not guilty.

WITN has a reporter in the courtroom and will update this story if a verdict comes in.


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Jury selection is over for the man accused of killing his wife nearly four years ago in Martin County and the trial is expected to start Thursday.

Albert Gurkin, Sr. was arrested back in 2009 for the death of his wife, Jewel Gurkin.

Gurkin's body was found buried behind their home.

The Clerk of Court in Martin County tells WITN they expect to hear evidence in the case Thursday morning.

PREVIOUS STORY:

A jury will be selected for the trial of a man who deputies say murdered his wife and then buried her behind the family home.

Albert Gurkin, 65, of Martin County is accused of killing his wife Jewel back May of 2009.

Family members told us then, that deputies told them Gurkin had confessed to strangling his wife, even before her body was found buried behind the family home near Bear Grass.

Gurkin is in the Williamston courtroom this morning as jurors are being selected.


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