Opening Statements Delayed In Waco Capital Murder Trial

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WACO (June 24, 2014) Opening statements were delayed Tuesday morning in the capital murder trial of a Waco woman accused of plotting to kill her mother while prosecutors and defense attorneys discussed newly discovered evidence.

Yalanda Lind (Jail photo)

A jury was seated Monday in the trial of Yalanda Renee Lind after Lind rejected the offer of a plea deal Monday morning that would have allowed her to seek parole.

If she's convicted of capital murder, she would spend the rest of her life in prison.

Prosecutors aren't seeking the death penalty.

The deal called for her to plead guilty in exchange for a 35-year sentence for murder and a 20-year sentence for robbery, both to be served concurrently.

Lind, 39, acted with Jeremy Lowrey to murder her mother, Rebecca Leonard, prosecutors say.

Leonard, 52, was stabbed to death and her boyfriend Jerry Patterson was seriously injured in an Oct. 13, 2008 attack at the couple's Watt Avenue home.

Lowrey pleaded guilty to capital murder on June 15, 2012 but two weeks later was sentenced to life in prison on the lesser charge of murder, which means he can qualify for parole after serving 30 years.

Judge Matt Johnson sentenced Lowrey on the lesser charge after a recommendation from the state and following consent from the victim's family.

Lowrey, 30, also was sentenced to life after he pleaded guilty to an attempted capital murder charge that stemmed from the same stabbing incident.

Johnson ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

Lowrey, who at the time was McLennan County longest serving jail inmate, having served more than 1,350 days in county jail awaiting trial, admitted that he stabbed and killed Rebecca Leonard, 52, and stabbed her boyfriend, Jerry Patterson, during what prosecutors called a home invasion.

But subsequent investigation led prosecutors to believe Lind actually arranged the murder.

She was arrested June 29, 2012, after a McLennan County Grand Jury returned a capital murder indictment against her.

It was not clear what led police and prosecutors to seek the indictment against Lind so long after the murder was committed, but it was known that Lowrey was intensely de-briefed over two sessions after he agreed to plead guilty.

Lind, who reported the incident, told officers she stayed the night at her mother's home and awoke to find her ex-boyfriend, Lowrey, standing in her bedroom.

She told police that her mother and Patterson entered the bedroom and were attacked by the knife-wielding assailant who fled before police arrived.