30 years later, husband stands trial for murder of Amy Hurst

Son testifies about mother's abuse over 30yrs ago

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - It has been over 30 years since Amy Hurst was killed, but in court Tuesday, her son gave voice to her in what he described as an abusive relationship at the hands of her former husband.

"I saw him hit her with an iron skillet," Jeff Early would recall in court.

William Hurst would listen on, occasionally jotting down a note during the testimony.

William Hurst is accused of the 1982 murder of his wife, Amy Hurst.  

Amy disappeared in August, 1982.  A woman's body, known as Jane Doe, would be discovered a month later, 29 miles off the coast near the Skyway Bridge.

It was decades later, after Jeff provided a DNA sample, that investigators linked Jane Doe to Jeff, and offcials identified Jane Doe as Amy Hurst.

In the courtroom Tuesday, a host of experts and investigators explained how they made that link.

Still, it was Jeff's testimony that stood out, as he remembered the apparent abuse that took place over 30 years ago.  He recounted an incident where he said he saw William Hurst throw his mother down a flight of stairs into the basement.

When asked if he ever heard William Hurst threaten to kill his mother, he would answer, "Yes."

But upon cross examination, the defense would drape his testimony with doubt.

Attorney Dean Livermore reminded Early that in a previous hearing he answered that same question "No."

Leaving one to speculate if memories of a son, who at the time all this allegedly was going on, was four to eight years old, are accurate.

The state is expected to wrap its case Wednesday morning, with the defense running the balance of the day. Final arguments are expected Thursday, with the jury also being charged that same day.

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