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.
#BREAKING: Judge says jury did not hear Linderholm's statements; she is sentenced to 24 hours of useful public service, judge says
— Jay Greene (@JGreeneReports) December 2, 2016
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.