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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County jury sentenced the Lufkin man who shot and killed his wife in front of their 3-month-old child in February of 2015 to life in prison Wednesday evening.
Less than 30 minutes after the Angelina County jury started deliberating Wednesday morning, they found Joshua Ingram guilty of first-degree murder.
The Joshua Ingram murder trial got under way Monday morning.
Joshua Ingram, 32, of Lufkin, is accused of shooting and killing his wife Jennifer in their home on Feb. 5, 2015.
According to the arrest affidavit, the Lufkin Police Department got a 911 call from one of Ingram's relatives, who said that Joshua Ingram's mother had called him from California and said that her son had shot his wife and was going to shoot himself.
The relative also told the 911 dispatcher that Joshua Ingram's infant son was also at the residence in the 400 block of Cunningham. In addition, the relative told authorities that Joshua Ingram "was going to attempt to get into a lethal confrontation with law enforcement and may be armed with some form of long gun or automatic rifles."
Dr. Robert Lyons, who performed the autopsy and toxicology report on Jennifer Ingram's body, gave insight into the total number of bullet holes and trajectory.
"There you can see the cluster of six gunshot wounds through her back, and three more over lower part of back with exit wounds angled upward," Lyons said.
More shots riddled the back of Jennifer Ingram's left arm, right elbow, stomach, and armpit. Those were all confirmed to be mostly entrance wounds, some indicating she was shot after she was killed.
"That angle is evidence that she is no longer moving, holding relatively still, would suggest that she might be dead and lying on the ground," Lyons said.
After assessing the victim and finding more entrance wounds to her hands and shoulders, he gave his opinion on how many times Jennifer was shot.
"There are at least 19 entrance bullet wounds, but there is no way to determine an exact number and no way to tell how long she suffered," Lyons said.
He was also present during the toxicology report, which he initially determined clean, but after cross-examination there was questions about this report.
Bill Agnew, Joshua Ingram's defense attorney, questioned why they had to retest after finding low levels of benzodiazepine, a common ingredient found in antidepressants such as Xanax and Zoloft.
"If she took something with that present three days before there is a chance it would not have shown up," Lyons said.
Numerous bruises that Lyons confirmed to be several days old were found on her elbows and arms. The cause of death was determined to be fatal gunshot wound to her torso.
Ron Stubblefield, a criminal investigator with the Lufkin Police Department, confirmed the theory that Jennifer Ingram was shot while she was on the ground.
The physical door from the scene of the crime was shown to the jury to confirm the high-velocity blood splatters and bullet holes to the door.
"That indicates to me that the person being struck was on the ground at the time they were shot," said Stubblefield, "However, the victim was shot several times and first to the hip was done while she was standing."
Stubblefield said the initial shot would not have killed her, alluding that Jennifer suffered until the six fatal shots to her back however none of her blood was found on Joshua Ingram's clothing.
"It did surprise me that there was no blood found on the defendant, but there is more to it because we were tracking the cellphone of the suspect," Stubblefield said
Joshua Ingram's phone was turned off for approximately two hours after the crime but then turned on again a mile from the video store where he was apprehended by police.
"On this map of Lufkin, you can see the location of the crime scene, Dairy Queen, and the video store where he was arrested," Stubblefield said.
At 8:48 p.m., the first ping from the cell phone came after it was turned on was from a wooded area, from there, the prosecutor displayed a graphical time line that took place the night of the murder.
"The time in question would be after the suspect deliberately turned off his cellphone to the time we got the first ping after he reactivated it," said prosecutor April Perez.
The battery, which appeared to have been taken out to deliberately keep authorities from tracking where Ingram was during this time, was confirmed to have blood on the back when police examined it.
The state rested but recalled Stubblefield to be questioned at a later time.
Without the jury present, Joshua Ingram was asked if he would testify for his defense.
"Not at this time, your honor," Ingram said.
Agnew initially tried to redirect the verdict, claiming the state did not mention this crime happened within Angelina County. However, this was overturned.
"This has been a tough but easy case all in one," Perez said in her closing statements. 'I'm sure you've seen things you never want to see again."
Perez then walked the jury through what happened on Feb. 5, 2015. She said that Galen Davis, one of the witnesses who testified, said he saw Joshua and Jennifer Ingram fighting. The prosecutor added that when Davis left, Joshua Ingram was wearing light-gray sweatpants.
"He was not wearing the same clothes when police found him," Perez said. "The only two people who know what happened are Josh and Jennifer, who cannot speak to us."
Perez told the jurors that the ring found on a living room table was symbolic that things were over. She also reminded the jurors that Jennifer Ingram was afraid of Joshua Ingram.
Jennifer Ingram was alive after the first shot, Perez said. The prosecutor talked about the forensic pathologist who said that Joshua Ingram shot his wife over and over again.
"He executed her on the ground, and then what did he do?" Perez said. "He left. And he changed clothes. But he left blood on the light switch, on the cell phone battery."
Perez told the jurors that Joshua Ingram's crime was done in the heat of the moment. She said he went out into the woods, "someplace familiar."
"He went to a Dairy Queen and told the employee, "I'm going through a divorce," Perez said. "No, you're not! You're a widower, a widower by your own making."
Joshua Ingram then went to Pal's Video, took out thousands of dollars and wrote a letter to his son, Perez said.
Perez said Joshua Ingram told his uncle that he had three guns and some clothes. She added those items are still missing.
The prosecutor reminded the jurors that during his interrogation by police, Joshua Ingram asked about the shell casings.
"Who says that when they are told their wife is dead?" Perez said.
Perez said Joshua Ingram told his uncle and his mother, "I killed Jennifer." She also said that Joshua Ingram told Davis, "I shot her."
"He called himself a good dad, but he executed his child's mother right in front of him," Perez said. "What kind of father does that?"
During the sentencing phase of the trial, several Angelina County jailers that interacted daily with Joshua Ingram during his time found a hangman's noose and several shanks in his cell. They added that all of these pieces of contraband were uncommon.
Paly Jackson, a probation officer, said Joshua Ingram would call her once a month during the time he was with Jennifer Ingram.
"He would call me he would tell me about Jennifer and the trouble he would get into," Jackson said. "Before, he was only alcohol dependent but then would say he was exposed to meth."
Jackson advised Joshua Ingram to return to court and take care of his business, and one time told her he checked himself into a Palestine mental health facility.
"He brought me paperwork that stated he had schizophrenia and an alcohol dependency," Jackson said.
Later, Joshua Ingram took the stand, and Agnew asked him why he snapped.
Joshua Ingram said that he took the phone to Jennifer Ingram, and she told him she wasn't going to feed their son every three hours.
"I thought she was going to get up and watch him," Joshua Ingram said.
He said he took Cash to the swing he bought for him and fed him.
"And all I heard was, 'Oh yeah. He's drinking all right,'" Joshua Ingram testified after explaining that his wife was talking to his mother on the phone. "I remember walking into the front yard and standing there for a second."
At that point, he went back inside the home and "grabbed the green gun that was under the couch," Joshua Ingram said. He said he walked back into the bedroom and shot his wife.
"I killed her," Joshua Ingram said. "I killed my best friend, man, and I don't know the f--- why."
Ingram explained he tried to pick Jennifer up after he shot her, but he said blood was everywhere.
"She was on the ground and blood everywhere and, at that point, I don't know if she was dead, but she wasn't getting up," Joshua Ingram said. "She didn't get up."
The two hours after Jennifer was murdered where Joshua could not be tracked through cell phone ping as well as the clothes he was wearing when he murdered her are still in question. When Perez asked him about why he turned his cell phone off, Joshua Ingram said he did it to save the battery.
"I'm getting a little mad," Joshua Ingram said. "If you're trying to say I'm covering this up, it doesn't make sense. If you're going to do something to me give me all the time in the world, but don't say I lied. I wasn't even drunk over six beers."
Agnew also questioned Joshua Ingram about the time leading up to Jennifer Ingram's death.
"She's not on trial here. I am and was not perfect, and neither was she," Joshua Ingram said. "I didn't know what it was like to be around an addict; she's not in control of it."
Agnew explained again that up until Jennifer was released from prison, Joshua was the primary caregiver of their child.
"Holding your child that fits in your palm of the hand not knowing if he is going to live; I can't explain it to you," Joshua Ingram said. "He's a miracle."
Agnew continued to question Ingram about Jennifer Ingram's struggle with drugs to which the prosecutor questioned the relevance.
After Joshua Ingram's testimony, Perez cautioned the jury.
"Once we start deliberation, this evening we cannot stop even though you have unanimously asked to finish tonight," Perez said.