Lefors murder trial begins - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Lefors murder trial begins

Kristi Slatten Kristi Slatten
Dannie Hoover, former employer Dannie Hoover, former employer
Barbara Rowe, mother Barbara Rowe, mother
Joshua Rigo Joshua Rigo

A little more than a year ago a Lefors woman was beaten and strangled inside of her home. Today her murder trial will begin in Gray County. 

Kristi Slatten was 42 when in December of last year her former employer Dannie Hoover says she met the man accused of taking her life. "She may have known the guy anywhere from twelve to thirteen days, like I was telling you she got a text one day, she says that young guy texts me again, I tried to say you really don't know this person," said former employer Dannie Hoover.

Hoover believes that 30 year old Joshua Rigo the man on trial for Slatten's murder lured her into a friendship by talking about going through a divorce, something Slatten could empathize with, her mother says she was always a people person always trying to help.

But on January 1st 2013 the woman who helped so many was brutally beaten and strangled inside of her Lefors home.

"She lived a matter of blocks from me and it was New Year's Day and we were supposed to do all the fixing food and celebrating and she never did call or anything, you know, she was never going to call again. Yeah I miss her, she was my very very best friend, always," said Kristi's mother Barbara Rowe.

Police say Rigo was later arrested driving Slatten's jeep just west of Panhandle. He was with Steve Preston Dean, who was arrested on unrelated charges.

"They told us though that she was a fighter. Which she was raised with two older brothers so I'm not surprised. I'm sure she fought for her life and the Texas Rangers told us that she did," said Rowe.

Joshua Rigo is charged with first degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and theft of property. He faces 99 years behind bars if convicted.

The trial is expected to last around five days in the Gray County courthouse.

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