Ex-firefighter on trial for girlfriend's murder - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Ex-firefighter on trial for girlfriend's murder

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A former Perdenales firefighter is on trial accused of killing his ex-girlfriend after her body was found wrapped in a tent in Lake Travis in 2011.

Joe Carr, 29, is charged with the murder of 22 year old Veronica Navarro.

He's also charged with tampering with evidence.

During opening statements, Travis County Assistant District Attorney Amy Meredith used a large calendar to piece together a timeline for the jury of conversations and events leading up to Navarro's death. While Navarro had recently moved in with Carr, Meredith told jury that Navarro wanted to leave him for her on again off again boyfriend Chris Kashimba.

Meredith said Navarro would often visit Kashimba when Carr was working his 24-hour shifts at the fire station. She loved him and couldn't let that go.

On June 27th, Navarro interviewed for a job with Carousel Pediatrics. She trained to become a medical assistant. The woman who conducted the interview told the court that Navarro was bubbly and excited to be there. After the interview, Navarro drove to Kashimba's house. Kashimba told jurors he believed Navarro planned to break up with Carr and get back together with him.

After Navarro left Kashimba's house that was the last time he would see her alive. She drove back to Carr's house. He tried to call her the following day but never heard from her.

Family members say they became concerned when Navarro's Facebook posts stopped and they couldn't reach her.

The state says Carr killed Navarro by asphyxia and dumped her body in Lake Travis at Pace Bend Park. Almost two weeks later, Meredith says Navarro's body was found by two dock workers.

"Her body was wrapped up in a tent hog-tied with paint cans and cinder blocks attached to it," said Meredith.

Meredith says Carr was not himself at work and at one point traveled to South Padre Island. She says investigators told one person with the Perdenales Fire Department that Carr may be a suspect. That person, according to the state, received a call from Canadian border control asking if Carr had a month of vacation because he was trying to cross the border from North Dakota. Carr was arrested and charged with murder.

The victim's friends and family paint a picture of a deteriorating relationship between Navarro and Carr. Manuella Navarro, Veronica's cousin, testified that Carr was controlling. Before her cousins death she made a trip to Austin and wanted to visit with her but Carr wouldn't let her.

"This case is like a really cruddy episode of Law and Order," said defense attorney John Carsey.

Carsey reminded the jury that the state must show evidence that Carr killed Navarro.

The trial is expected to last a week or a week and a half. Carr, if convicted, faces up to life in prison.

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