***Copied from The Ahwatukee Foothills News***
"Ex-wife to Testify in Harrod Murder Trial"
by Guinda Reeves
October 25, 1997
The defendants ex-wife, Ann Costello, is expected to testify under immunity from prosecution October 27 in the first-degree murder trial of James Cornel (Butch) Harrod, accused in the 1988 slaying of Phoenix socialite Jeanne Gunter Tovrea. Jeanne Tovrea was shot five times, apparently as she slept, in her Lincoln Hills Estates home. The home reportedly had its own electronic security system, and was located in a gated community with private security. Jeanne Tovrea's sister, Sandra Elder, apparently the last to talk to the victim (by telephone from Arkansas) is slated to be a prosecution witness. The victim's daughter from a previous marriage, Debbie Nolan-Luster, and her husband, Mike Luster, also are expected to testify, regarding someone who used the name Gordon Phillips when he had contacted Jeanne Tovrea in the months prior to her murder. The prosecution contends that name was an alias used by Harrod, although neither a composite drawing of "Phillips" not a tape recording of a message left for the victim on her answering machine, allegedly to be Harrod's voice, seemed to observers to be close matches. Other pieces of the puzzle to appear in recent testimony: *A number of latent fingerprints taken at the crime scene were never identified. "There may be other killers out there," said Deputy Prosecutor Paul Ahler in his opening statement. *Investigators believe the killer crossed desert terrain behind the victim's house, but no desert debris or dirt was found inside the home, and no footprints or other evidence was found outside the house or in the desert. *Former Phoenix police homicide detective Richard Fuqua testified that he had found nothing in the kitchen sink area that had been tracked in from outside. A pane from the window over the sink was removed to gain entry; the pane measured 24 inches by 33 inches. Harrod has a stocky build. *Mark Hatcher, a latent fingerprint technician formerly employed by Phoenix and now with Mesa police, testified during cross-examination by McMath that "yes, it's possible" that fingerprints can be forged or fabricated. However, he said, "It's not easy to do (and) can be detected by experts." He had defined forging as "actually putting someone's prints somewhere." Jeanne Tovrea was the third wife of millionaire rancher and businessman Edward A. Tovrea Sr., a member of Arizona's pioneer families. He died four years prior to his wife's murder. Edward Tovrea Sr. had left most of his estate to Jeanne Tovrea, with a trust fund for his three grown children from a previous marriage-Edward Tovrea Jr., and his two sisters, Georgia and Priscilla. That trust fund reportedly was payable upon their stepmother's death. Harrod, who could receive the death penalty, remains held without bail. He was arrested September 14, 1995, at his home in the 4800 block of E. Capistrano Avenue. Throughout the first week of trial, several members of Harrod's family sat directly behind him. Jeanne Tovrea's brother, from Wichita, Kansas, attended on Wednesday. The 12 jurors and the two alternate jurors appear to range in age from in their 20s to late middle-age. The jury consists of two African-American men, three Caucasion men, eight Caucasion women, and one Native-American or Asian-American woman.