By GREG RUSSELL
Register Staff Writer
A guilty verdict and life sentence capped this week’s murder trial of Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Olivas.
Both decisions were reached within hours on Thursday — following jury deliberation that began Wednesday afternoon and stretched into Thursday.
Cooke County Assistant District Attorney Ron Poole said Olivas, having begun formal incarceration in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility during the month, won’t reach parole eligibility for 30 years, following his conviction in the stabbing murder of Linda Barrett, 22.
“I’m satisfied with the jury’s verdict,” Poole said Thursday. “They deliberated and considered all the issues and reached the right verdict.”
Poole conceded that the outcome could possibly have been different, due to arguments from defense attorneys Anthony Farmer and Anthony Lyons that Olivas was illegally searched and arrested.
The alleged technicality was the only dubious factor in what may have been a smooth conviction.
“I don’t know how the jury deliberated, but I’m sure they considered that issue from the defense,” Poole said.
As reported Thursday
The trial began Monday and stems from the brutal death of Barrett — committed by Olivas, her companion at the time. On June 18, 2012, Gainesville Police Department Public Information Officer Bobby Balthrop reported that at 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, 2012, officers received information from an individual concerning the death of an unknown female said to be located somewhere inside a residence on Truelove Street.
The investigation led to the discovery of a deceased white female inside the residence, plus the arrest of a suspect. The suspect, identified as Olivas, age 30 at the time of his arrest and also residing in the Truelove house, was taken into custody and charged with murder. He was later placed in the Cooke County Justice Center, where he stays now.
Warder said Barrett’s body was found in a locked closet at the Truelove Street residence, wrapped in plastic, decomposing and riddled with stab wounds. Dallas Chief Medical Examiner Jeffrey Barnard revealed autopsy diagrams during Tuesday’s installment, indicating no less than 31 wounds ranging from Barrett’s head to her lower body.
And the murderer’s motivation in killing, Poole said Thursday, was anger rather than the influence of drugs or any other circumstance.
“He says he was just incensed and outraged,” he said. “Just mad.”
By GREG RUSSELL
- Local News
Cherry recognized as employee of the month
Gainesville employee of the month is Hodge Cherry, zookeeper at the Frank Buck Zoo, who was recognized at the Tuesday Gainesville City Council meeting for his volunteer assistance to fellow employees and zoo animals during the December cold and ice storm which paralyzed much of the city and transportation capabilities.
Muenster city election canceled
Muenster City Council members canceled the uncontested May 10 city election and approved an increase to the energy service agreement with Green Mountain Energy Company, according to the March 3 unofficial minutes.
Unofficial election returns by precinct
Cooke County officials released the following unofficial totals after Tuesday's primary election.
Kiwanis Club auction helps support local projects
Kiwanian Karen Estes takes phone calls during the Gainesville Kiwanis Club Radio Auction held at the Dustin Office Machine location on Sunday while Tom and Sandy Tower check off auctioned items during the successful fundraiser held each year that supports local Kiwanis community projects.
Results of Tuesday's primary election
A total of 5,451 ballots were cast during the primary election held Tuesday with 5,169 votes in the Republican primary and 282 votes in the Democratic primary.
Construction continues at Medal of Honor park
Workers install electrical conduit and water pipes at Gainesville’s Medal of Honor Park on California Street.
Cooke County warrant roundup
Area law enforcement officers gather Saturday morning before the Cooke County warrant roundup.
Storm delays jury selection in Alexander trial
Jury selection for the trial of Johnny Earl Alexander was delayed until Tuesday because of the ice storm that hit Cooke County.
Citizens recognized for life-saving heroics
Monday evening at the Callisburg Community Improvement Center (CCIC), heroes were recognized for recent efforts when a health crisis was suffered by Justice of the Peace, JP Precinct 4 candidate Neil Trice at a Feb. 3 political forum.
NCTC bull gets high bid at Oklahoma sale
Beef cattle production is alive and well not only in Cooke County but also at North Central Texas College’s Experimental Farm.
- More Local News Headlines
- Cherry recognized as employee of the month