Testimony begins in trial of Lester Jones, accused in kidnapping and murder of Paige Birgfield

Posted at 6:38 AM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 14:39:20-05

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Testimony is expected to begin Monday in the retrial of a man accused of kidnapping and killing a mother of three who secretly ran an escort service.

Paige Birgfeld disappeared in 2007. Her skeletal remains were found five years later in Delta County.

Police arrested Lester Jones in December 2014 on murder and kidnapping charges. He was allegedly a client of Birgfield’s escort service, Models Inc. He denied knowing Birgfield, though phone records connected the two.

Jones pleaded not guilty.

In the first trial, earlier this year, jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on first or second-degree murder and kidnapping charges. The jury was split, with nine people finding Jones guilty, but three determining there was too much doubt to convict him.

The first group of jurors had 4 men and 11 women. This time around there are 8 men and 6 women on the jury, according to KJCT-TV.

The TV station reported that during opening statements last Friday, prosecutors said Jones has no alibi for the time of the disappearance and that he bought a burner phone to call Birgfeld, but stopped calling her after she disappeared.

Defense attorneys said despite forensic testing, hundreds of hours of interviews and countless searches, there is little evidence against Jones.


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