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Outburst by Paige Birgfeld's friend will not end trial of Lester Jones

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Posted at 7:08 AM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 14:00:28-05

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- An outburst in court by a victim's friend did not cause a mistrial in the case of Lester Jones.

The judge ruled Friday morning that the jury did not hear the comment, so he did not declare a mistrial.

Jones is accused of kidnapping and killing Paige Birgfeld in 2007. Her skeletal remains were found five years later in Delta County.

Birgfeld was a mother of three who secretly ran an escort service. Jones was allegedly a client of Birgfield’s  service, Models Inc. He denied knowing Birgfield, though phone records connected the two.

In court Thursday, a friend of Birgfeld's, Carol Linderholm, testified.

As she left the witness stand, she looked at Jones and called him a "piece of crap killer," according to KJCT-TV.

The judge found Linderholm in contempt of court.

“I’m sorry, I’m just under a lot of stress and 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?” said Linderholm.

She was sentenced Friday morning to 24 hours of useful public service, according to KJCT-TV Jay Greene.

Jones has pleaded not guilty in the case.

In his first trial, earlier this year, a mistrial was declared when jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on first or second-degree murder and kidnapping charges.

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