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Virus grants temporary reprieve to man accused in Fort Worth murder, sexual assault

Fort Worth Star-Telegram logoFort Worth Star-Telegram 8/7/2020 By Mitch Mitchell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Restrictions meant to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus have put a stop to the jury selection process in the trial of a man suspected in multiple murders and sexual assaults.

A mistrial was declared this week during the jury selection process for the capital murder trial of Reginald Kimbro, 26, of Plano.

Kimbro was initially arrested April 24, 2017, by Fort Worth police in connection with the death of 22-year-old Molly Jane Matheson, whose body was found April 10 in the shower of her Fort Worth apartment near TCU.

Fort Worth police allege Kimbro, who had previously dated Matheson, raped and strangled the woman, then washed her body, clothes and bedding in an attempt to destroy evidence.

On Feb. 27, 2020, the full panel of jurors was assembled in the Kimbro case and attorneys had completed juror questionnaires for nearly 220 individuals. Jury selection, also known as voir dire, was scheduled to begin March 16. But on March 13, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster due to the spread of COVID-19, and the court granted Kimbro’s motion for continuance, according to a court official.

The court subsequently postponed jury selection to another time due to COVID-19 restrictions. Jury selection was to begin Aug. 3, but prior to that date, Kimbro’s defense counsel requested a mistrial based on the coronavirus and the impractical nature of convening people together for jury selection and an eventual trial.

State’s attorneys did not object to the mistrial and clarified that the law and the motion did not create a bar to prosecution at a future date.

Kimbro has also been accused of attacking 36-year-old Megan Leigh Getrum of Plano as she hiked at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Her body was found in Lake Ray Hubbard, about 30 miles away in Dallas, on April 19, 2017.

Kimbro has been linked to the sexual assaults and murders of Matheson and Getrum through DNA, officials have said.

Court records show that Kimbro was also indicted by a Collin County grand jury on two counts of sexual assault stemming from the rape of a woman at a party in Allen on Jan. 19, 2014. The victim was found in the a yard lying by a fence.

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©2020 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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