Trial for man accused of murdering Joel Frazier begins with opening statements

Updated: Oct. 1, 2019 at 12:31 PM CDT
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DALHART, Texas (KFDA) - The murder trial for Kory Tidrow, the man accused of murdering 65-year-old Joel Frazier, began today with opening statements from the prosecution and defense.

Joel Frazier has been missing since July 11 / SOURCE: Whitney Rose Defries
Joel Frazier has been missing since July 11 / SOURCE: Whitney Rose Defries

According to NewsChannel 10 crews in court, officials compared the murder case of 65-year-old Joel Frazier to a “good old-fashioned Sherlock Holme’s case” because of missing DNA evidence.

In the courtroom, Tidrow rejected a plea deal of 40 years for pleading guilty to the murder charge.

During an opening statement, the state said authorities found Frazier’s body “burned, charred and mummified” in a broken down incinerator at a Dalhart meat processing plant in 2017.

According to the state, a forensic anthropologist found that Frazier suffered two gunshot wounds to the back of his head.

The two bullets were found to be from a .22 rifle and a .45 caliber gun.

Benjamin Buck, who was indicted on charges of tampering with evidence by destroying or concealing a human corpse, accepted a plea deal of five years in prison with a maximum of 20 years.

Camilla Frazier-Tidrow / Source: Dallam-Hartley County Jail
Camilla Frazier-Tidrow / Source: Dallam-Hartley County Jail

According to the state, Tidrow told Buck to bring a wheel barrow, a sheet and orange twine to his house.

When Buck arrived, he saw Frazier slumped over on a chair with black powder and blood on him.

Buck told the state that he saw Tidrow and Camila Frazier-Tidrow operating the incinerator where the body was found.

According to the state, no fingerprints or DNA match those found on to a gun linked to the murder.

The defense said ‘it’s a weak case and the evidence will fall woefully short’ because there is no evidence of fingerprints or DNA.

The state went on to say that the death occurred because of Frazier-Tidrow and Frazier’s father-daughter relationship.

Frazier-Tidrow, the wife of Tidrow and daughter of Frazier, was also indicted on a murder charge in her father’s death.

The state said Frazier and his three children discussed changing his will before Frazier’s body was reported missing in July of 2017.

The state claimed Frazier-Tidrow was “bent out of shape” with her father’s plan of making his youngest child the beneficiary in his will.

The will was written up but not signed.

The defense echoed the strained father-daughter relationship, linking it back to 2015 when Frazier was facing a severe drinking problem and had lost his wife.

The defense said Frazier-Tidrow became upset when her father brought another woman to the wife’s funeral.

While the defense made this statement, Frazier-Tidrow’s younger sister shook her head in disagreement of the claim.

The trial continues tomorrow.

We will continue to have updates as the trial continues.

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