Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

October 8, 2013

Olivas murder trial continues

Gainesville — By GREG RUSSELL

Register Staff Writer

Following Monday’s jury selection phase, Tuesday’s installment of the murder trial of Juan Manuel Rodriguez-Olivas featured an analysis of the multiple stab wounds of his alleged victim.

Dallas Chief Medical Examiner Jeffrey Barnard revealed diagrams based on the autopsy of Linda Marie Barrett, 22, whose body was discovered inside a Gainesville residence following her death in June 2012.

The autopsy, conducted two days after Barrett’s death, revealed no less than 31 wounds ranging from the head to the lower body and varying in severity.

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, was taken into custody and charged with murder and was later placed in the Cooke County Justice Center.

Cooke County District Attorney Janice Warder said Barrett’s body was found in a locked closet at the Truelove Street residence, wrapped in plastic and decomposing. Warder added that Tuesday’s testimony included comments from Carl Wilson, an inmate at Cooke County Justice Center who testified that Olivas admitted to and bragged about Barrett’s murder.

But despite the evidence presented, Olivas entered trial with a plea of “not guilty.”

And if convicted, Warder said, Olivas faces a prison sentence of 5 to 99 years rather than a death penalty.

“This doesn’t fit the definition of capital murder,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “In a capital murder, you have to have at least one of the aggravating factors and those are usually murders that also include robbery or rape.”

Olivas is currently represented by Dallas attorneys Anthony Lyons and Anthony Farmer. Warder said today’s installment of the trial will feature testimony from at least two more state’s witnesses and may bring proceedings very close to a verdict.

“That’s just speculation, of course,” she said. “We don’t have any way of knowing how long the defense will take.”

 

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