widow-defendant apparently hospitalized, misses hearing
autopsy: alcohol, morphine, codeine in Hurdlow’s body
SIERRA VISTA – Police say Brian Hurdlow died September 25 after he lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into a metal light pole while being pursued by his wife driving a compact SUV. According to theautopsy reportreleased this week by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Hurdlow died of “multiple blunt force injuries” that included a severed spinal column and numerous fractures to his head that resulted in the brain being expelled from the skull. He also suffered several broken ribs, a broken leg, a broken arm, and lacerations of his heart, lungs, and liver.
His wife Jennie Jones-Hurdlow was arrested the next day, accused of causing her husband’s death by recklessly chasing after his motorcycle with her Ford Escape at speeds up to 65mph. She was laterindicted by a county grand juryon charges of
second degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide.
Although the autopsy report notes Brian Hurdlow had ethanol, morphine and codeine in his system at the time of death, prosecutor Daniel Akers asserted in a recent court filing that it was Jones-Hurdlow’s “behavior which ultimately resulted in the victim’s decapitation and horrible death.”
The case against Jones-Hurdlow is scheduled to be heard by a jury. During a pre-trial conference on January 3, defense attorney Joel Borowiec informed judge James Conlogue that the defense has not received all of the case documents from the Cochise County Attorney’s Office, including the accident reconstruction report. Deputy county attorney Akers confirmed that his office is waiting on “a few additional reports” from the Sierra Vista Police Department related to the investigation, including the official reconstruction report.
Once Akers receives those reports he must disclose them to the defense as part of the discovery process. Borowiec requested the trial be postponed, noting that getting the documents so close to the scheduled February 7 trial does not provide “sufficient time for review” or preparation. The defense has not moved forward with scheduling witness interviews, Borowiec told the judge, because he is waiting to have all the reports. And the defense needs time for an expert to examine the reconstruction report once it is available.
Akers did not object to the defense motion to reset the trial date, although he noted Brian Hurdlow’s daughter, who is acting as the victim representative, is “not happy” with pushing back the trial but “understands the need” for a delay. Judge Conlogue then vacated the February 7 trial and scheduled a conference for February 6 at which time he will determine if the parties are ready to set a new trial date.
One person who was not in the courtroom January 3 was Jones-Hurdlow, even though a condition of being released from jail pending trial is the defendant’s attendance at all court proceedings. The reason Jones-Hurdlow was not present in court was not announced in court but it was noted she is receiving medical care.
Previous night’s arguments carry over to morning of fatal accident
According to police affidavits filed in the case, the charges against Jones-Hurdlow, age 38, can be traced back to a domestic argument that began the evening of September 24 between the couple, who were married in March 2016. A search warrant executed by the Sierra Vista PD at the couple’s home after the accident revealed evidence of a dispute, and Brian Hurdlow reportedly left the couple’s home the morning of September 25 on his Harley Davidson motorcycle after the argument escalated.
Court documents indicate Jones-Hurdlow followed her husband to the Circle K on Buffalo Soldier Trail, where witnesses described her as “yelling at the victim.”
Surveillance video reportedly shows Brian Hurdlow, age 51, attempting to leave the gas station but his efforts were blocked by his wife. Shortly before noon he was able to exit the parking lot and headed east on Avenida Cochise which passes through a residential area. Jones-Hurdlow followed the motorcycle in her vehicle.
There are witness statements that at one point she pulled the vehicle in front of the motorcycle and engaged the brakes. Eventually Brian Hurdlow got the motorcycle in front of the Ford Escape, but according to witnesses he lost control trying to outrun the vehicle. He was not wearing a helmet.
Within hours of the accident, judge Timothy Dickerson of the Sierra Vista Justice Court signed the search warrant for Sierra Vista PD to enter the Hurdlow home. The warrant also allowed officer to search the Ford Escape and review data on Jones-Hurdlow’s cell phone. After her arrest, judge Dickerson ordered Jones-Hurdlow held on $75,000 bail. That amount was confirmed by judge Conlogue during an arraignment hearing October 10. She was released from jail pending trial when Azteca Bail Bonds LLC posted a $75,000 appearance bond on November 17.
At the time of his death, Brian Hurdlow was facing criminal charges for an August 25 incident in which Jones-Hurdlow told police her husband was suicidal and had left their home with a loaded handgun. An hour later Hurdlow returned to the home and officers responded to make contact with him. He reportedly became combative when officers Justin Dannels and Brian Sebastian tried to handcuff him. Hurdlow was indicted September 8 on two counts of resisting arrest and two counts of aggravated assault.
Contact reporter Terri Jo Neff at 520-508-3660 and firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR’S NOTE: Pima County’s medical examiner handles most autopsy and related forensics testing for for Cochise County. Detective Thomas Ransford observed the Hurdlow autopsy on behalf of Sierra Vista PD.