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Ashlea Harris didn’t have an opponent on the planet, prosecutors say.
But that altered on every single day in August 2014 when she discovered that some body had damaged to the US Eagle Outfitters shop where she worked in Hulen Mall, prosecutor Kevin Rousseau stated
It was Harris — a 31-year-old assistant supervisor during the shop — just who labeled as 911 and alerted business officials plus the shop supervisor towards theft.
And it ended up being Harris, Rousseau stated, whom looked over the store’s surveillance video and respected a person she believed had been in charge of stealing thousands from the store’s safe — David Mallory, a shop employee and live-in boyfriend of some other associated with the store’s assistant managers, Carter Cervantez.
Cervantez and Mallory had been in the end fired, and Cervantez understood Harris had been behind it, Rousseau said.
Detectives believe the couple killed Harris inside the woman apartment early Nov. 28, 2014, establishing her bed and body ablaze and fleeing together tips. They in the pipeline to steal through the shop once again, this time around thousands of bucks collected from Black Friday sales.
“She made it happen so she could have the key that Ashlea needed to the store and, at precisely the same time, precise payback, payback, retaliation, for having been fired to begin with, ” Rousseau informed jurors Tuesday afternoon during available arguments in Cervantez’s capital murder test.
Cervantez, her frizzy hair partly pulled as well as putting on a black dress with black hose pipe, looked frail as she walked to the courtroom, the woman legs shackled. She pleaded not guilty to the cost that she suffocated and hit Harris inside mind with an object while in the span of committing burglary and/or retaliation.
“She is not the child that she'd look like sitting if your wanting to in courtroom these days, ” Rousseau, that is prosecuting the outcome along side Ashlea Deener, guaranteed jurors.
Rousseau informed jurors that they can hear experience testimony, see video clip, including of Cervantez lying “through the woman teeth” to investigators, and understand DNA evidence proving Cervantez is guilty.
Cervantez’s defense lawyers, Steve Gordon and Bill Ray, decided to maybe not provide an orifice statement.
Mallory can also be charged with capital murder. Their test is pending. Prosecutors aren't looking for the demise punishment against either defendant.
Witnesses provided jurors a glimpse of how Harris had invested Thanksgiving 2014, the very last complete day of the woman life.
Jeffrey Kayser, a friend who lived-in the same apartment complex, testified that he and his spouse were among pals whom shared a Thanksgiving dinner with Harris. He said they later on aided Harris finish off meals to try other workers — whom she called her “kids” — in the United states Eagle Outfitters store, in which she was scheduled to function that evening.
Patrick Sweet, just who lived-in a condo downstairs from Harris, testified he awoke at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 28 to a noisy, prolonged scream.
“I was pretty startled, ” he stated. “Then we heard a rather loud thud on the floor.”
Sweet stated he could hear labored respiration, as if somebody had been lying on the floor of Harris’ bedroom.
He said he heard the door slamming as someone left the woman apartment and seemed external to see a black Infinity G-35 pulling away. Another neighbor testified that he also saw a black Infinity with a toll tag sticker that morning parked close to Harris’s pickup as he smoked on his porch about 7 a.m. and again at 7:30 a.m.
Sweet stated he put back bed. About quarter-hour after reading the scream, he heard a carbon monoxide alarm going down. He said he was investigating the foundation when he heard liquid dripping in the restroom. It had been leaking from a pipe into the restroom roof. Then he realized there could be a fire in Harris’s apartment in which he called 911.
Kayser, who lived in a nearby building, said their spouse awakened him about 7:30 a.m. after hearing a beeping noise. After observing a strobe light flashing on a fire security on Harris’ building, he stated he hurried up to assist her dog, a golden retriever.
As he saw Harris’s pickup parked beyond your building, he knew something had not been right which she should be residence, also. He said he ran around the woman apartment, kicking right in front home without very first checking to see if it absolutely was locked.
“When I went up truth be told there, my adrenaline had been pumping so difficult. I understood my pal had been truth be told there along with her animal ended up being there. My all-natural instinct ended up being, ‘Don’t check; obtain the hell inside.’ ”
He said he twice entered the smoke-filled apartment, screaming Harris’s title in addition to dog’s title but needed to reverse after becoming overcome because of the smoke.
The dog would later on be introduced live by firefighters.
Fort Worth fire Lt. Jarrod Pavlechko testified that sprinklers had doused the fire when he and two firefighters joined the bed room, interested in the resident witnesses stated might be truth be told there.
After starting a screen to clear the smoke, firefighters could see a lady face upon the ground. He stated he had been trying to carry her as he noticed that the woman arms had been duct-taped together. The woman ankles had been in addition duct-taped along with her hair and feet were burned.
Pavlechko checked for a pulse but discovered not one.
Prosecutors additionally revealed a Dillard’s surveillance video with glimpses of a figure dressed up in a gray jacket and black scarf walking inside Hulen Mall regarding morning of Nov. 29 — prior to the shops unsealed — after obviously entering through a fire-exit.
Prosecutors informed jurors that a homicide investigator, that has Cervantez and her boyfriend under surveillance, had used the few towards shopping center and saw as Cervantez, dressed up in a grey jacket and black scarf, walked inside while Mallory stayed outdoors within the car.
Mallory ended up being detained within the parking lot and questioned by police but Cervantez couldn't be positioned within the shopping center.