Opening Arguments Focus on Victim

6-22-04 - A packed courtroom today listened to some shocking new accusations in the trial of a woman charged with murdering Whitesboro jeweler Jon McCullough. Authorities say Kristi Jones shot him to death last June, during an argument and scuffle outside her Grayson County home.

During opening statements, Jones’ defense team alleged McCullough has been abusive to his wife, and had made unwanted sexual advances towards Jones in the past. Those allegations had never been reported to the police though.

But prosecutors countered that the defense was attacking the character of the victim, who was respected by many in the community, and was trying to help his sister-in-law at the time of the shooting.

That woman’s husband, Brian Riddle, took the stand today, and admitted to an affair with Jones that he says started in May of 2003. Riddle was also there the night of the killing, when his wife and Jones got into a scuffle. He claims McCullough and himself tried to break it up, when Jones’ gun accidentally fired.

Prosecutors used mannequins to show how the fight unfolded. Testimony will Wednesday. The trial could last up to two weeks.