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Woman on trial in murder-for-hire case

By Jessica Priest
Nov. 20, 2013 at 5:20 a.m.


Trial resumes

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday before Judge Skipper Koetter.

A man told jurors Tuesday that he got law enforcement involved when his lover's obsession with a Port Lavaca woman turned deadly.

Marcus Jackson, 31, testified he told Department of Public Safety agents that Kerstin Jones wanted someone to kill her husband's nurse and mistress, Yvette Garcia.

Initially, she wanted Jackson to do it.

Jones, 46, of Placedo, is charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder and manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance between 200 and 400 grams.

She was arrested May 2, 2012, after officials say she tried to hire an undercover DPS agent to kill Garcia.

Tuesday was the first day of her trial.

Garcia was not injured.

Jackson said Jones told him "far-fetched" stories about Garcia, including how she poisoned Jones' livestock, cut fences and how Jones was beaten up by Garcia's relatives.

But Jackson, who did not witness these events, said he was not convinced the stories were true.

Jones also asked him to plant prescription drugs in Garcia's car to get her in trouble. Jackson refused and told her to go to the police to get a restraining order against Garcia.

"But it wasn't good enough for her. She wanted to draw blood," he said.

Jackson was arrested previously on a possession of a controlled substance charge. His case was dismissed in exchange for his cooperation in this case, Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler said during opening statements.

"Whatever you think about Marcus, all the real meat and potatoes (of this case) happened in front of a certified peace officer," Tyler said of how officials recorded her requesting the hit.

The defense, meanwhile, tried throughout the day to show jurors that Jones was framed.

Her attorney, John Urquhart, of Houston, said Jackson had sex with Jones to gain her trust, and the DPS agents encouraged it.

"We should be able to trust and rely upon our officers," Urquhart said.

His line of questioning also suggested that Garcia quit her job at a nursing home in Port Lavaca, where she met the defendant's husband, Roderick Jones, after rumors surfaced the two had sex in a shower there.

Garcia maintained their romance began after she quit working at the nursing home.

Roderick Jones is still married to Kerstin Jones. Garcia and Roderick Jones are engaged. Garcia is also married to another man, but they are separated.

Garcia works during the week as Roderick Jones' nurse and is paid by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Roderick Jones, who is in a wheelchair because he suffers from diabetes and degenerative disc disease, testified that he only went to the nursing home to get away from his wife, who had overrun their property with starving animals that were defecating all over the house. They own 45 acres on U.S. Highway 87.

Jones' husband also said she often embellished her accomplishments by printing out business cards that would suggest she rescued animals.

Roderick Jones also suspects his wife over medicated him so that the VA would declare him incompetent and she could take control of the family's finances.

He defended his affair with Garcia by saying, "Mrs. Jones was trying to have her cake and eat it, too. She had numerous affairs."

Victoria attorney James Beeler is assisting with the defense.

Tyler is expected to continue questioning Jackson on Wednesday.

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