(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, a witness for the prosecution put herself at risk of being held in contempt of court when — while exiting the courtroom — Carol Linderholm looked at Jones and called him a “piece of crap killer.” There was a question as to whether any of the jurors heard this as they were leaving.
The judge said he will wait until Friday to determine how Linderholm’s remark may affect the case, but instructed herto return in the morning. He warned her that another comment like that could land her in jail for contempt. Linderholm apologized to the court, saying, “I can’t help myself when I see him. I mean, If he had done that to a friend of yours, what would you do?” The judge responded, “I certainly wouldn’t do what you just did.”
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]