The Dateline episode ‘Double Lives’ investigates the 2007 kidnapping and murder of Paige Birgfeld of Grand Junction, Colorado — and the two trials that ensued. In December 2016, Lester Jones was found guilty for kidnapping and the murder of Birgfeld. (His first trial was declared a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous decision.) In 2016, he was sentenced to life in prison. Birgfeld was the mother of three children and the owner of an escort service. Jones was reportedly one of her clients.
During Jones’ trial, Carol Linderholm, a friend of Birgfeld’s, was called as a witness. As she left the witness stand, Linderholm “blurted out” as she passed Jones, “piece of crap killer.” The judge found Linderholm in contempt of court. The ABC-TV Denver affiliate reported that Linderholm apologized and was sentenced to 24 hours of useful public service before “the case moved forward after jurors said they did not hear the outburst.” If the jury had heard her comment, the judge could have declared a mistrial. Dateline airs Fridays at 9pm on NBC.