GRAND JUNCTION, CO - A Mesa County judge has determined that a convicted murderer will pay nearly $50,000 in restitution in connection to his two trials.
Lester Jones was sentenced to life in prison in December after a jury found him guilty in the death of Paige Birgfeld.
Judge Brian Flynn heard arguments in a restitution hearing on Tuesday during which the defense claimed that Jones was unable to pay for expenses.
But in a ruling released on Thursday, the judge said evidence suggests that Jones is earning an income while in the Department of Corrections.
Here's a breakdown of the restitution:
$45,537.57 goes for the costs of prosecution
$859,57 is for travel expenses to Victim's Compensation
$1,307.86 for lodging and travel expenses to the 21st Judicial District Victims Assistance Fund
$1,900 goes to lodging for the victim's father, Frank Birgfeld, for expenses not covered by Victim's Compensation
The total amount is $45, 537.57.
Jones' first trial resulted in a mistrial in September of 2016, but another Mesa County jury found him guilty of murder and kidnapping during a retrial three months later.