UPDATED 9:29 p.m.: Jury returns guilty verdicts in Sturdivant capital murder case

Joyce Sturdivant, 66, is on trial for capital murder and attempted capital murder in Waco’s 54th State District Court.

9:27 p.m.

Sturdivant is guilty on the murder and attempted capital murder charges, but is not guilty of capital murder. She faces 5-99 years, or up to life, on each of the charges for which she was convicted.

9:15 p.m.

The jury is returning to the courtroom with a verdict.

6:30 p.m.

Judge Matt Johnson attempted to order barbecue plates including brisket and sausage for the jurors, attorneys, court staff and deputies staying late in the Sturdivant murder trial, but had to settle for pizza when the barbecue restaurant he had in mind couldn't fulfill his order.

5:45 p.m.

The jury in the Joyce Sturdivant capital murder trial sent out a note requesting that it recess for the weekend and continue deliberations on Monday.

Defense attorneys, however, objected, arguing the jury over the weekend would be subjected to a tremendous amount of publicity about the trial. The judge ordered the jury to continue deliberating.

3:45 p.m.

The jury has received the case and began deliberations.

2 p.m.:

The questioning of Joyce Sturdivant has concluded. The prosecution has called a Robinson detective to the stand as a rebuttal witness.

11:30 a.m.:

Joyce Sturdivant testified that she apologized to her husband Joe Sturdivant Jr.'s body in the funeral home because she was sorry for leaving him the morning he was killed. She said maybe if she had stayed home that day he wouldn't have been killed.

Court has recessed for lunch break. Questioning will continue when court resumes.

11 a.m.:

Joyce Sturdivant began crying as she described finding her husband's dead body in bed in their Robinson home.

Joe Sturdivant Jr., a former champion stock car racer, had been shot once in the back and once in the head.

Joyce Sturdivant denied killing him and denied talking to anyone about killing him.


Joyce Sturdivant, on trial for the 2008 shooting death of her husband, took the stand this morning in her defense.

Besides the capital murder charge, the 66-year-old also is on trial for reportedly trying to hire two sets of men to kill her husband of 40 years, Joe Sturdivant Jr., in September 2007 and September 2008.

In testimony Thursday, Rhonda Rostockyj, Joyce Sturdivant's daughter-in-law, said she accompanied Joyce Sturdivant to a funeral home to view her husband's body before it was cremated.

As Joyce Sturdivant viewed him for the last time, she pulled down his collar to see where a bullet exited his neck, then draped herself over his body and uttered a tearful apology, Rostockyj told jurors.

“She laid across him and said: ‘Oh, Joe. I’m so sorry. So sorry. So sorry.’ ”

After Rostockyj repeated for the jury what Sturdivant said, the prosecutors asked for no further explanation. Defense attorneys Russ Hunt Sr. and Michelle Tuegel did not cross-examine her.

Return here for updates of the trial throughout the day and read the full story in Saturday's Tribune-Herald.

Get Trib headlines sent directly to you, every day.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Recommended for you