Officers called to stand in Franklin Co. murder trial

Published: Jul. 6, 2011 at 3:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2011 at 11:23 PM CDT
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Afton Ferris (Photo source Larimer County Sheriff's Dept.)
Afton Ferris (Photo source Larimer County Sheriff's Dept.)
Michael Schallert (Photo source Larimer County Sheriff's Dept.)
Michael Schallert (Photo source Larimer County Sheriff's Dept.)
Ferris walked out of the courtroom Wednesday.
Ferris walked out of the courtroom Wednesday.

BENTON, IL (KFVS) - The trial of a 21-year-old woman accused of murder in connection with the deaths of two women is underway in Franklin County.

Afton Ferris is charged, along with 30-year-old Michael Schallert, in the October 2009 killing of Kandis Majors and Terri Seibeck.

Police said Majors and Seibeck were found shot to death in their West Frankfort home.

Thursday, several law enforcement officers from Larimer County, Colorado took the stand.

The jury was presented dozens of pieces of evidence.

One of the Larimer County sheriff's deputies testified a size 2 female blood stained jeans was found in a trash can in Fort Collins, Colorado along with a blood stained hooded sweatshirt that had "true love" written on it.  In a taped recording played earlier in the week, Ferris mentioned her true love jacket had blood all over it.

Another investigator with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office recalled finding a .22 caliber pistol in a black purse, after they arrested Ferris and Schallert.

Officers also found Wyoming ID cards with Ferris' and Schallert's names on them, along with a Social Security card with Schallert's name. Investigator said they also recovered a 2003 Tan Impala.

Prosecutors later showed a West Frankfort officer a picture of that car. On the stand he said it was the victim's car. The state also showed the jury several cards investigators found in the car. Those included Kandis Majors' Social Security Card along with Terri Seibeck's drives license and Visa Debit Card.

Police tracked Ferris and Schallert to Colorado just days after the bodies of Majors and Seibeck were found.

Earlier in the week, those in the courtroom heard the recording of Ferris shortly after she was arrested in Colorado. During that recording Ferris told officers they fled in Seibeck's car.

Before the Franklin County State's Attorney hit play on the tape, Ferris who has not shown emotion in court in the past, put her head in her hands. At one moment her attorney passed her a tissue.

Shannon Martin, a friend of Majors and Seibeck, also listened and watched as the state played the tape of Ferris.

At the time of the recording Ferris was 19-years-old and had just been arrested by police in Colorado. West Frankfort Police Chief Jeff Tharp and another officer went in Colorado to speak with Ferris about what happened in a West Frankfort home.

Martin says it was difficult to listen as Ferris recalled that October night.

"It was very hard," Martin said.  "I miss them both so much, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of them."

On the recording, Ferris said she and Michael Schallert, who was her boyfriend at the time, were living with Seibeck and Majors. Ferris went on to say once they learned the women had kicked them out, they stole a gun.

According to the tape, Ferris said they walked back to the house planning how to kill Seibeck and Majors.

Ferris told the officers they waited until only the women were in the house, then knocked and asked if they could talk. On the tape Ferris said Schallert had the gun in his pants. She added it was loaded with stolen bullets.

During the recorded interview Ferris told police Schallert shot first. Ferris went on to tell officers how she later took the gun and continued shooting. The now 21-year-old went on to describe in graphic detail how they shot the women several times.

At one point, on the tape, she told the officers the only way to get Terry and Kandis's car, and maybe some money, was to shoot them.  Ferris went on to say she didn't want to hurt anybody, but there was nothing else to do.

On the tape Ferris told officers the women were doing drugs, and stealing from each other.

But Martin says Seibeck and Majors had taken steps to change their lives for the better and didn't deserve what happened.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think of the girls," Martin said.

Also on the tape, Ferris told officer she and Schallert had been drinking and taken drugs before going back to the Majors and Seibeck's home.

During testimony Monday a forensic pathologist testified Majors was shot four times at close range, while Seibeck was shot at least five times.

Prosecutors had sought a death sentence against Ferris. But, the judge announced at the start of her trial, that's no longer an option because Illinois abolished capital punishment as of July 1.

Ferris has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder charges.  The jury is made up of mostly women.

The Franklin County State's attorney says he expects the trial to go into next week.

Meanwhile, Schallert's trial is set for September. He also faces first degree murder charges.

Read the incident report here.  Scroll to the bottom to read a poem written by Ferris.  WARNING: Some may find material in this incident report offensive.

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