Defense Calls "Star" Witness a Liar in a Fresno Double Murder Trial

FRESNO, Calif. Phillip Woodley is on trial for the murders of his father and stepmother and the prosecution says they have a witness to the crime.

Jeff Rancour is the man pointing the finger at Phillip Woodley. He's serving 18-years in prison after cutting a deal with prosecutors for his truthful testimony, but the defense says jurors won't be able to believe anything he says.

The murder scene unfolded almost five years ago when family members called out the Sheriff's Department to Roy and Angie Woodley's home in Tarpey Village.

What they found was gruesome. Roy and Angie had been tied up. Coroners say Roy was stabbed 28 times. Angie was stabbed 14 times. They believe there was just one stabber.

Detectives arrested Roy's son Phillip twice, the last time after they got a confession from his alleged accomplice, Jeff Rancour.

"Jeffrey Rancour told the detectives and is expected to testify that Phillip Woodley was the sole killer of his father and stepmother," said prosecutor Burton Francis.

But in opening statements, the defense opened fire on Rancour, who has a checkered past. He's already pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and burglary in connection with the case. He got 18-years.

"Rancour has made himself one heckuva deal to become the star witness for the prosecution in this case," said defense attorney Eric Green. "I will refer to him at some point in this case as the devil. They made a deal with the devil."

The prosecutor is also setting up Phillip Woodley as a liar, showing a videotaped police interview where he denied knowing Rancour's real name.

Francis also played a phone call from two days earlier, when he says Woodley called Rancour's parents' home and asked for "Jeff."

Phillip Woodley is not planning to testify, but prosecutors plan to use his statements to police and the calls he made while his phone was tapped as evidence in the case.

The jury has Friday off, but they'll be back on Monday.

Rancour is expected to testify sometime in the middle of the trial, which could last as long as four weeks.

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