Stearns Trial Continues in Williamson County

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By Fanna Haile-Selassie

WILLIAMSON CO. -- It was a big day in Williamson County court Monday, as the jury trial of Cindy Stearns continued into week two. The 54-year-old is accused of murdering her father Charles James of Freeman Spur and attempting to kill his girlfriend back in 2011.

 
On Monday, one of Stearns' alleged co-conspirators took the stand to testify that Stearns was the mastermind behind the murder plot. 38-year-old Kate Bodie already pleaded guilty to shooting and killing James in 2012 and is serving a 50-year sentence. She said in court that she took the plea deal specifically to testify against Stearns.
 
Bodie was married to Stearns' brother Chuck. Her son, 18-year-old Joshua Dallacosta, attempted to kill James's girlfriend Ly Johnson. Bodie says Stearns approached her about the plot because she was concerned her father would leave everything in his will to Johnson, rather than to her. James did just that 20 days before the shooting. Bodie says she went along with the plan because she was promised a permanent home in one of James's properties that Stearns managed. 
 
And during a taped interview that was played in court, Stearns admitted she initiated discussions with Bodie about killing her father, because she felt threatened by him.
 
During one of the cross-examinations, the defense reiterated the shooting was done by Bodie and Dallacosta and insinuated the Bodie knew enough about James's property and where he kept his guns that she could have orchestrated the entire plan.
  
The prosecution wrapped up their case Monday afternoon, and the defense will start Tuesday morning. Stearns' attorney will try to show that Bodie was the mastermind behind the plan, not Stearns. It's still undecided whether Stearns will take the stand.
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