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Trial for accused killer Steven Pankey continues with testimony from ex-wife

Steven Pankey
Posted at 5:44 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 20:08:38-04

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — The trial for Steven Pankey, the man accused of killing 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews in Weld County in December 1984, continued Monday.

The jury heard from several experts, including an officer, a coroner and a forensic anthropologist. They discussed the location of Matthews' remains and how she died.

But perhaps the most intriguing testimony came from Pankey's ex-wife, Angela Hicks.

The two married in 1978, six years before Matthews' disappearance. Hicks discussed Pankey's last-minute decision to spend Christmas with his family in California the day before Matthews was reported missing.

"I was just shocked because the last thing I understood was that we weren't going. So my very first thought was for the dogs," Hicks said. "Steve says, 'Don't worry about the dogs. The dogs are gone.' I said, 'The dogs are gone?' He said, 'Don't worry about the dogs. I dumped the dogs. Get us ready to go.'"

When they returned to Colorado, Hicks told the courtroom she recalled Pankey having a sudden interest in news stories about Matthews.

"He asked me to read him the article about Jonelle Matthews from that day's Greeley Tribune, and from that day's Denver Post, and I recall him having me read each one at least three times," Hicks said.

Investigators allege Pankey kidnapped Matthews the night of Dec. 20, 1984, and shot her in the head.

The trial will continue Tuesday morning at the Weld County Courthouse. Jurors are expecting to hear from Hicks again.

The trial is expected to last into early November.