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Texas woman sent to prison for trying hire carnival worker to murder son and daughter-in-law after boyfriend’s never-solved 2012 slaying

Ruth Ann Comer

Ruth Ann Comer appears in court (via ABC 12 screengrab)

A 69-year-old San Antonio, Texas, woman’s long and winding solicitation of capital murder case, which included significant questions about the defendant’s competency to stand trial along the way, has ended with a 20-year prison sentence.

Ruth Ann Comer learned her fate last Thursday, April 6, in Judge Jennifer Pena’s Bexar County courtroom. The sentence was handed down more than a decade after Comer’s 68-year-old businessman boyfriend, Jerry Augustus Collins, was brutally killed in a never-charged 2012 trailer-home murder that prosecutors believed was connected to an ensuing 2013 murder-for-hire plot. That plot targeted Comer’s son Jacob Thomas and his wife Kristina Moore, Comer’s daughter-in-law.

Ruth Ann Comer mugshots

Ruth Ann Comer mugshots, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

The prosecution’s theory of the case against Comer is that she was trying to tie up loose ends after Collins’ death, which occurred not long after Comer was written into his will and stood to gain half a million dollars upon the hardware store owner’s death, News4SA reported in 2018.

“I want Kristina gone, and if you have to, kill Jacob,” Comer told carnival worker Charles Grube, after that man tipped authorities off to the plot and agreed to record his interactions with the defendant. She also provided him with a handgun.

Jerry Collins

Jerry Collins (News4SA screengrab)

Remembered by a neighbor as a “real nice man,” Jerry Collins was found dead in his Texas home with his throat slit in January 2012. Comer was the person who claimed to find him that way.

Authorities have long believed that Comer targeted Moore in the murder-for-hire plot several months later for a particular reason: to cover up her own involvement in orchestrating Collins’ murder.

In support of Comer’s 2013 arrest, authorities reportedly claimed that Moore told a witness Comer paid her $10,000 to, in turn, pay for a hitman.

To date, no one has been charged with murdering Jerry Collins.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.