(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 jury heard from witnesses who handle tracking dogs who aid law enforcement. One witness, Jean Bondio, who has 25 years experience with bloodhounds as tracking dogs, discussed how she was able to give dogs Birgfeld’s scent by using a household item. Lead investigator Jim Habenstrait, who had testified earlier in the trial, came back and discussed the use of dogs in the investigation. Also among the witnesses testifying on Thursday was Sandra Curry, who spotted Birgfeld’s car being driven by man, but could not make out any of the driver’s features other than being male. Curry said that when she later saw an article with a picture of Lester Jones, she thought that was the man she saw driving.
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]