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The murder trial of Lester Jones continues on Tuesday. 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 Tuesday, Jones’ wife Elaine took the stand. She told the court that she was suspicious when her husband left home the night that Birgfeld’s car was found on fire. Elaine Jones said that Lester told her he was going to his workplace, and was gone from 9 to 10pm. A 911 call reporting the burning car came in at 9:58. Elaine was aware that Lester had been visiting prostitutes and was concerned he was really leaving to see a woman.
An investigator testified, saying that Birgfeld’s car appeared to be set on fire on purpose. Despite this, Elaine Jones said that Lester did not smell from gasoline when he returned home that night.
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 Wednesday 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]