Prosecutors presented their opening arguments this week in the murder trial of Alex Richard Valdez, accused of killing Kimberly Harvill, whose body was found near Gorman more than two years ago.
Opening statements at the trial began Monday and continued Tuesday, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Once the jury was selected at the end of last week, lawyers were ready to begin.
Valdez, 30, of Fresno, is the last of three people to have been charged in Harvill’s murder.
Joshua Aaron Robertson, 29, also of Fresno, was jointly charged with murder in the case. Last week, however, Robertson pleaded no contest to murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A third person initially charged with murder in the case was Brittney Sue Humphrey, of Fresno.
She and Robertson were arrested in August 2016. A year later, however, Humphrey pleaded no contest to kidnapping three young children of her half-sister, Harvill. She was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Valdez was arrested in March 2017.
A motorist found Harvill’s body lying in the brush on Aug. 14, 2016, along Gorman Post Road, north of Highway 138, in Lebec, near the Kern County line. She had been shot.
Humphrey and Robertson were alleged to have kidnapped the three young children of Kimberly Harvill.
The three children were ages 5, 3 and 2 when the crimes occurred.
The children were later found abandoned in New Mexico at a motel. Humphrey and Robertson were arrested in Colorado in October 2016 on suspicion of murdering Harvill and then kidnapping Harvill’s three children.