Punishment phase begins in Frances Rosales Ford DWI murder trial

Lawrence Belcher killed in 2010 wrong-way crash


SAN ANTONIO – Frances Rosales Ford, 39, is facing a punishment range of from 5 to 99 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder charges.

Jurors on Wednesday heard emotional testimony from two people who were very close to the victim, Lawrence Belcher.

"I miss my first love – I miss my best friend," Rebecca Beede told jurors.

Beede, Belcher's girlfriend, said he was the epitome of a "people person."

"He was all heart," Beede said. "He was selfless, devoted, loyal and charismatic."

Belcher, 38, was killed when his vehicle was hit head-on as he drove south on Highway 281 on Oct. 14, 2010. His car was hit by a car driven by Ford, who was going the wrong way and had a blood-alcohol level over twice the legal limit.

The incident was Ford's third DWI arrest, which upgraded charges against her to murder.

In addition to Beede, prosecutors called Belcher's brother, Joe Bell, to testify during the punishment phase of Ford's trial.

"It's been a very difficult three years," Bell said. "I struggle with missing him."

Bell said he and his brother were very close. So close, he said he has left specific instructions for his wife when he dies.

"I would like my ashes to be mixed with my brother's because I felt in life he was half of me," Bell said.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.

To view more videos from KSAT.com, click here.

About the Author: