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Forbes' wife key witness

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- The wife of Curtis Forbes emerged as a key witness in his Columbia County murder trial.

Authorities alleged Forbes killed teenage friend Marilyn McIntyre thirty years ago at McIntyre's Columbus home while her husband was at his third shift job.

At the time of the March 1980 murder, Deborah Forbes was Curtis Forbes' girlfriend.

Prosecutors alleged after Forbes beat, strangled and stabbed McIntyre, he went to see Deborah.  

During Friday testimony in a Portage courtroom, Columbia County Sheriff's detective sergeant Daniel Garrigan said Deborah Forbes made an incriminating admission about what happened in 1980,  during an interview last year.

"She saw blood on Mr. Forbes' shirt."

But defense attorney Dave Geier stressed in his questioning of witnesses Deborah Forbes only made that admission during seven hours of intense police interrogation, which included the use of several ruses designed to get her to talk.

At one point during Friday's court session, a jailhouse phone call between Forbes and his mother was played.   In the conversation, Forbes complained Deborah Forbes had told police officers about a concocted get away story.

"Something about sinking the boat and heading out for Hawaii or some (expletive), having a plan on meeting her in Hawaii,"  Forbes told his mother, Janice Forbes.

Geier has not indicated whether Forbes will testify in his own defense.

Prosecutors alleged Forbes killed McIntyre after a night of drinking and unsuccessfully propositioning other women.   Prosecutors said Forbes had wanted an affair with the eighteen year old.

But no DNA evidence linking Forbes to the bloody 1980 crime scene has been produced during the trial.

Forbes's defense attorneys are expected to call witnesses Saturday in this week long trial, with the case possibly going to the jury later that day.

27 News Continuing Coverage:

Columbia County man going to trial for 30 year old murder (July 14, 2009)

Testimony in 1980 Columbus murder (July 13, 2009)

UPDATE: Bail set for cold case murder suspect (April 8, 2009)

UPDATE: Testimony, DNA hair evidence key in cold case (April 6, 2009)

1980 Murder victim's husband wants justice (March 27, 2009) 

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