(As soon as the trial begins or restarts from break, the above video will be LIVE from the court. You may have to refresh your browser.)
The murder trial of Lester Jones continues on Friday. Jones is accused of killing Paige Birgfeld, a single mother who secretly worked as a paid escort.
Prosecutors believe that Jones was one of Birgfeld’s clients, and that he kidnapped and killed her. Birgfeld, a resident of Grand Junction, Colorado, disappeared in June 2007. Hikers found her remains in March 2012. Jones’ cell phone records reportedly showed that a week before Birgfeld vanished, he was in the area where her body was eventually found. Jones was also one of the last to call her before she disappeared, according to investigators. Jones’ defense attorney have argued that there is no physical evidence against their client, and that Birgfeld had other customers who could have been the culprit.
On Thursday, the court heard more testimony regarding search dogs that were used in the investigation. Julie Jones took the stand, discussing her volunteer work with her dog Quincy, who works with the VK9 search and recovery organization. Jones described how the dog assisted with this case, detecting the scent of a dead body in the burned remains of Birgfeld’s car that had been discovered.
Lester Jones’ defense attorney was extremely aggressive during his cross-examination of Julie Jones, expressing skepticism over the dog’s ability to be effective in the investigation. At one point, the judge called for a recess, as the witness was visibly upset by the treatment, although when court resumed, the judge noted that she was dealing with personal issues as well.
This is the second trial that Jones is facing after a jury could not reach a decision in the first trial, which ended in September.
Court will resume in Grand Junction, Colorado on Friday morning at 9am Mountain Time.
LawNewz.com will provide live streaming video of the trial through its completion.
[Image via Mesa County Sheriff’s Office]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]