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Trial to begin for woman accused of soliciting murder

By Jessica Priest
Nov. 16, 2013 at 5:16 a.m.
Updated Nov. 17, 2013 at 5:17 a.m.

Kerstin Preis Jones

Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in the trial of a woman accused of hiring a hit man.

Kerstin Preis Jones, 46, of Placedo, is charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder and manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance between 200 and 400 grams.

She was arrested after officials say she attempted to hire a man to kill a woman in exchange for money, drugs, Oxycodone and a firearm May 2, 2012, according to court documents.

Jones tried to hire an undercover Department of Public Safety trooper to kill her husband's nurse, Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler said during a previous interview.

"He said she provided the gun and even bartered with him," Tyler said.

When contacted Friday for additional comments about the case, Tyler could not be reached.

Jones' attorney, John W. Urquhart, of Houston, said he intends to prove she was set up, but he would not elaborate about who would have the incentive to do so.

"Nobody was hurt," Urquhart said. "Mrs. Jones is a rancher that has been living in Placedo for quite some time. She's looking forward to the jury hearing both sides of the story, and we're confident that the good, honest people of Victoria will find her not guilty after they hear all the evidence."

No prior criminal history is listed for Jones, according to the Department of Public Safety's website.

In 2010, she ran unsuccessfully for the Place 3 seat on the Bloomington school district board.

While campaigning, she said her experience as a teacher and her educational achievements - a master's degree in business administration - qualified her for the position. She also wanted to make parental involvement a No. 1 priority, according to the Victoria Advocate's archives.

Jury selection is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday before Judge Robert C. Cheshire at the Victoria County courthouse, 115 N. Bridge Street.

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