GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against a man accused of killing a Grand Junction woman nearly a decade ago.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict Friday in Lester Jones’ murder and kidnapping trial. Jones was charged with killing Paige Birgfeld, a single mother who led a double life as a paid escort. “48 Hours” investigated the case in the episode,
Investigators say he was a client and one of the last people to call Birgfeld before she vanished in 2007. Authorities claimed Jones killed Birgfeld, dumped her body and torched her car, reports CBS Denver. He was on trial for first-degree murder, kidnapping and arson.
Her remains were not found until 2012 in a dry creek bed in Delta County.
Jones’ lawyers argued there is no physical evidence connecting their client to the killing and said one of the other men ruled out by investigators could have killed her.
The mistrial came after hundreds of hours of testimony and nearly a week of deliberations, reports CBS Denver.
Medical professionals testified in the trial that they couldn’t tell for sure how Birgfeld died.
Birgfeld’s father, Frank Birgfeld, told the station he continues to grieve for his daughter.
“I’m not sure what this closure business is that people swing around,” Birgfeld said. “I’m not convinced what it is. It’s not like I forget my daughter because I have closure.”
The district attorney has indicated that he will refile charges and try the defendant again, the station reports. Jones will remain in custody on $2 million bond.