Judge finds probable cause, Whitehurst case heads to grand jury

Whitehurst case heads to grand jury

ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - An Elmore County man who is charged with the homicide of his live-in ex-wife was in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Judge Glenn Goggans found probable cause against Thomas Whitehurst, 65, and bound the case over to a grand jury.

The 2016 missing person case of Starr Mulder has ended with the positive identification of her remains. Her ex-husband, Thomas Whitehurst, is charged with her death.
The 2016 missing person case of Starr Mulder has ended with the positive identification of her remains. Her ex-husband, Thomas Whitehurst, is charged with her death. (Source: Elmore County Sheriff's Office)

Whitehurst is accused of shooting his live-in ex-wife, Starr Mulder, before leaving her body in the Conecuh National Forest in Covington County. She disappeared in 2016. Skeletal remains found in the forest in early 2020 were only positively identified as her in the last week.

The judge did not rule on a bond motion but said a determination could come Wednesday.

Whitehurst is currently being held at the Elmore County Jail on a $1 million cash bond, an amount his attorneys called “excessive” as they point to a lack of prior criminal history.

Whitehurst is officially charged with murder, but Goggans asked the district attorney’s office if it intends to pursue a capital murder charge in this case. The DA’s office responded that it is too early to determine because there’s not enough forensic or specialized evidence available yet at the current stage of the investigation.

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