Nurse testifies in criminal solicitation of capital murder case

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Nov. 19, 2013 at 5:19 a.m.

A nurse told jurors Tuesday morning that she was stalked and assaulted by her patient's wife.

Yvette Garcia was testifying in the trial of Kerstin Jones, a Placedo woman charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder and manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance between 200 and 400 grams.

She was arrested May 2012.

Garcia said she met Jones' husband, Roderick Jones, while caring for him at a Port Lavaca nursing home.

She said the two began a romantic relationship after she left her job at the nursing home.

Kerstin Jones, 46, and Roderick Jones are still married. Garcia is also married, but to another man.

In opening statements, Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler said that through another man, Jones met and hired an undercover Texas Department of Public Safety agent to kill Garcia.

Tyler was upfront that the man Jones hired has a criminal past.

Whatever you think about the man Jones hired, "all the real meat and potatoes (of this case) happened right in front of a certified peace officer," Tyler said.

Jones gave the DPS agent a shotgun with the serial number scratched off and a "Mission Impossible"-like folder with pictures of Garcia and addresses where the undercover DPS agent could find her, Tyler said.

Jones' attorney John W. Urquhart, meanwhile, contended in his opening statements that his client was induced to hire the undercover DPS agent.

Jones is a mother of six and longtime rancher, who was afraid and manipulated by the undercover DPS agents and Jackson, he said.

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

He told jurors that this case was their chance to ensure that this type of behavior by officers stops.

He also added that Garcia has threatened and assaulted Jones in the past, too.

Victoria Attorney James Beeler is assisting with the defense.

The trial will resume at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Skipper Koetter on the third floor of the Victoria County courthouse, 115 N. Bridge Street.

Then, Tyler is expected to continue questioning Roderick Jones about a letter he received from Kerstin Jones in August.

Urquhart, of Houston, asked that the letter be excluded because he believed he was not given a copy of the letter in a timely manner.

The letter came to Tyler's attention today when Roderick Jones brought it to the courthouse.

Koetter is allowing Tyler to continue questioning Roderick Jones about the contents of the letter.



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