Clovis News

Tarpey Village murder case goes to jury

Jurors will have to believe a drug-addicted thief in order to convict Phillip Woodley of murdering his father and stepmother inside their Clovis home nearly five years ago, Woodley's lawyer said Thursday.

In closing statements, attorney Eric Green told a Fresno County Superior Court jury that Woodley didn't kill Roy Woodley, 73, and his wife, Angie, 71.

Instead, Jeffrey Rancour, a key prosecution witness, and his friend Dallas Mossey murdered the elderly couple, Green said.

His summation was a dramatic end to a trial that begin March 18 in Judge Gary Hoff's courtroom and featured dozens of witnesses, many of them drug users and former addicts.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday afternoon.

The Woodleys were found dead inside their Ashlan Avenue home in Tarpey Village on July 22, 2005. Roy Woodley was stabbed 28 times. Angie Woodley was stabbed 14 times.

Prosecutor Burton Francis described Woodley as an addict who smoked "ice," a pure form of methamphetamine. He said Woodley killed his father and stepmother in a drug-induced rage.

But Green said jurors have to believe Rancour, a drug addict, to convict Woodley.

During the trial, Rancour testified that he and Woodley smoked "ice" before going to the elderly couple's home. Once inside, Woodley tied up the elderly couple, Rancour said. He then marched Angie Woodley to a back bedroom, where she was killed. Woodley stabbed his father to death in the living room, Rancour testified.

But Green told jurors that Rancour is a drug-dealing thief who lied throughout his testimony. He said Rancour was with Mossey, another meth addict, when the couple was slain in order to rob them.

The best evidence, Green said, was under Roy Woodley's fingernail -- DNA from Mossey. Phillip Woodley's fingerprints or DNA was not found in his father's home. Green said.

Francis, however, said there's sufficient evidence to tie Woodley to the slayings, such as Woodley's telling investigators that he visited his father and stepmother either a day or two before their bodies were found. The visit was unusual, Francis said, because Woodley hadn't seen his father for at least 10 years.

If convicted, Woodley faces life in prison.