The fate of Brenda McCutcheon is in the hands of a jury of 10 women and two men.
About 3 p.m. Thursday, the jury began deliberating whether Brenda McCutcheon is guilty of shooting her husband, Asheville plastic surgeon Dr. Buddy McCutcheon.
Jurors asked to see the couple’s gun, believed to be the murder weapon. The gun was found outside the McCutcheon's Arden home on July 16, 2016, just hours after Brenda McCutcheon called 911, saying she found her husband dead on the couch downstairs where he slept.
On the call, Brenda McCutcheon said, “He never locks the back door, and the back door was open.”
Prosecutors said, in making that statement, Brenda McCutcheon was laying the groundwork for her alibi, which they said was that an intruder must have come in. Prosecutors argued there was no proof, prints or indications that an intruder had come to the home, walked in the back door and shot Buddy McCutcheon while he slept on the couch.
Jurors also asked to see the photo of a kitchen drawer prosecutors said was too full for the gun to be stored there. They said the gun may have been kept in the nightstand next to the bed where Brenda McCutcheon slept.
The couple was facing ongoing financial pressure and a criminal tax embezzlement investigation from the Department of Revenue. Brenda McCutcheon learned about the investigation on July 11, just days before the murder.
Police records show, following the Department of Revenue notification, Brenda McCutcheon hired a shredding company to shred documents contained in a storage unit she rented.
Prosecutors argued Brenda McCutcheon had for decades put her career as a nurse on hold to support her husband’s struggling plastic surgery practice by working as his office manager and handling the books.
Attorneys, in closing arguments, posited to the jury that after years of catering to her husband, running the office and handling bookkeeping duties she wasn’t adept at, Brenda McCutcheon was nervous IRS investigators would ultimately charge her for errors related to unpaid payroll taxes, and the walls were closing in on her life.
Attorneys also revealed during the trial Buddy McCutcheon had had affairs with two nurses in the office.
Brenda McCutcheon’s attorney Sean Devereux argued his client had cooperated with police from the beginning, participating in a seven-hour-and-forty-minute interrogation after her husband was found shot. He said there were outside gates that were unlocked, which indicated an intruder may have come in, and there was no physical evidence tying Brenda McCutcheon to her husband’s shooting death.
Devereux emphasized to the jury the fact that they must be convinced of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and there was plenty of evidence pointing to someone else coming in the home and killing Buddy McCutcheon.
Jury deliberations resume at 9:30 a.m. Friday.