Tensions high in Ford murder trial

Defense attorney argu­mentative, says prosecutor

SAN ANTONIO - A heated exchange between prosecutors and Jon Thomas Ford’s lawyer marked the beginning of testimony Friday in Ford’s murder trial.

Ford, 43, is accused of beating and strangling Dana Clair Edwards, his ex-girlfriend,  in 2009. 

Her body was  found on Jan. 2, two days after a New Year's Eve party. Both Ford and Edwards attended the party but not as a couple. They had split up that fall witnesses testified.

Ford left the party alone before midnight. Edwards left alone later. 

Witnesses testified that Ford’s SUV was not at his home when they passed by after leaving the party. He had told police he went home to bed immediately after leaving the party.

Melissa Federspill, who said Edwards was her best friend, was cross-examined Friday by Dick DeGueren, Ford’s lawyer. He said there were many contractions between her testimony and what she told police in a statement three days after the murder.

Among the contradictions, DeGueren said, was Federspill’s testimony concerning Ford’s SUV.

Pointing to a transcript of her police statement, DeGueren said “What you said was it could have been in the parking lot behind his house. Did you say that?”

“In answer to where he normally parked, yes I did," Federspill replied.

Prosecutor Catherine Babbitt objected.

“I object to council arguing with the witness," she said. "She is trying to answer his questions.”

Edwards was found beaten and strangled in her Alamo Heights townhome. Prosecutors say a towel containing Ford’s DNA profile was found covering her face. They also said during opening statements on Wednesday that cell phone technology puts Ford in Edwards neighborhood the night police believe she was killed.

Testimony will resume on Monday in Judge Maria Teresa Herr’s 186th District Court.


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