DAILY REMINDER: Please remember Jodi for the life she led rather than death she suffered at the hands of a murderer. While the details sure to be released in the upcoming days will be dramatic, please remember she was a wonderful person who still deserves respect and privacy in death. It is important for people to understand how horrible this crime was to understand the need for anti-stalking law change, but please do not make the details your office water cooler talk.
Testimony began today with KBI Agent Dave Falletti describing maps of where Jodi’s body was found.
Colby Wilson, took the stand next he testified to the fact that he was in Texas at the time of Jodi’s disappearance. They had dated since she was in the eighth grade and she had two promise rings from Colby when she was murdered.
Some of the defendant’s friends testified. First was Travis Alberding. There was the sound of a chain rattling as he walked to the witness stand. He is currently in the Labette County jail on unrelated charges. He worked with the defendant at a waste company at Strother Field airport. He stated the defendant and himself were “party buddies.” Police contacted Alberding on 1/5/2007 to see if he was with Justin. He was not. He later spoke to Justin who told him he did not know why the police were looking for him. Alberding was also contacted by Justin’s dad to about where Justin’s car was.
Rick Atteberry of the Kansas Bureau of Investigations took the stand to show the video of him questioning Thurber on 1/7/2007. As Thurber viewed the video he was relaxed back in his chair with his hands behind his head. The video showed the Thurber stating he “…knew who Jodi was…” going on to say “…they lived on the same block as me…” He further stated, “I’ don’t’ hang out with that type of crowd…”
Thurber admitted to driving on the Cowley campus the day Jodi went missing. He stated he was with friends that day and that near Dexter they had pulled over to “roll a blunt…” then at some point they got stuck “in the sand.” He stated he fell down a couple of times and got muddy while trying to push the car out of the “sand.” He stated he then began walking along Highway 166 near Cedarvale when he called his dad for a ride. After returning home he showered and went to Subway to get his check.
The questioning went back to when he was driving around campus. The KBI agent told him people had seen him driving Jodi’s car. During several questions Justin changed his answer.
Further testimony by trackers and ACPD included photos of Jodi’s Tigerette jacket, wallet, ID, shorts and leotard that were recovered form the toilet at Cowley Fishing Lake. Photos of her car being pulled from the lake were shown. Additionally, testimony that the passenger seat and floor board carpet was cut out of the car. These were recovered from the toilet as well. Jodi’s mother positively identified these items for police.
Stacey Michelle tracker with the Ark City Fire Department returned to the stand as the day’s last witness. He testified that a foot print was found near the area Jodi was found in the Kaw Wildlife Area. The print matching Thurber’s shoe was found on Monday. The officers were losing light and had to secure the scene until Tuesday morning. On Tuesday morning after returning to the area the trackers walked a distance of several dozen yards when Michelle states he notices a brush pile. “That’s when I noticed Jodi’s fingers sticking up out of the brush pile,” says Michelle.
There will be no court tomorrow. The testimony will resume on Monday at 9 a.m.