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.”