Trial in bus driver murder to begin


Jury selection was set to begin Monday in the trial of a 65-year-old woman accused of hiring a homeless man to kill one of her neighbors.

Jo Ann Wilbert is accused in the death of Killeen Special Education bus driver Christine Dailey Watkins who was found shot to death in her driveway in the 1400 block of Pine Drive in Killeen October 20, 2014.

Watkins body was found when police responded to the area after citizens called to report hearing shots fired.

When detectives determined Wilbert might be connected to the death, she was living at Merrit Island in Brevard County, Florida.

Killeen detectives traveled to Florida and working with sheriff’s deputies there, arrested Wilbert without incident.

She was the second person arrested in the case.

Police had previously arrested a 32-year-old homeless man, Andrew Lenard Hardesty. 

“Through the ongoing investigation detectives were able to link Ms.Wilbert with the homicide and make a connection with Hardesty who was the actual actor in that case,” said Lt. Frank Plowick of the Killeen Police Department at the time of her arrest, saying the murder stemmed from a neighborhood dispute between Watkins and Wilbert.

The trial will be held in 426th District Court.

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