Mistrial declared after hung jury in Paige Birgfield murder case

Mistrial declared in Paige Birgfield murder case
Posted at 2:22 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 20:47:09-04

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A Mesa County District Court judge declared a mistrial Friday in the murder trial of Lester Jones, who is accused in the 2007 kidnapping and murder of Paige Birgfield.

The decision came after four days of jury deliberations in the trial, which has been ongoing for several weeks.

The jury told the judge Friday morning they could not reach a unanimous decision in the case, and after the judge sent jurors back for further deliberations, they again could not come to 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.

District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein said he and the defense would go back to the judge Sept. 16 to reset a trial date.

Birgfield was a Grand Junction mother of three who secretly ran an escort service. She disappeared in June 2007 and her car was found burning in a Grand Junction parking lot days later.

Birgfield’s skeletal remains were found five years later in Delta County.

Police arrested Jones in December 2014on murder and kidnapping charges, to which he pleaded not guilty. He was allegedly a client of Birgfield’s escort service, Models Inc.

He denied knowing Birgfield, though phone records connected the two and Jones worked across the street from where her car was found.

ABC News will feature a special reporton the case Friday evening.


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