Judge Orders Convicted Murderer to Pay Restitution

Lester Jones ordered to pay nearly $50,000 for various court related costs

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.

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