Trial begins for convicted killer in death of mother of four

Posted at 5:43 AM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 18:41:51-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The murder trial against a convicted killer is underway, more than a year after a woman was found dead in Walker.

Shawn Jarrett was charged with open murder in the death of his coworker, Yolanda Reyes. The two worked together at Neal Mast and Sons Greenhouses on Four Mile Road. She went missing in April of 2014. Construction workers discovered her body weeks later at a build site.

Jury selection took place Monday morning, followed by opening statements and testimony.

A sticking point during opening statements was where DNA was found throughout the investigation. The prosecution reviewed a timeline of events the day Reyes went missing on April 24 2014.

That day when her husband dropped her off at work, police said only Jarrett’s car was parked in the work lot. Then it was not until May 16, 2014 that a construction crew bulldozing found her body on a build site near the greenhouse.

The prosecution said Jarrett told police Reyes was never in his car, but then investigators found her DNA in his car, as well as Jarrett's DNA on her phone.

But the defense told the jury police found only a "speck" of Reyes’ DNA in Jarrett's car, and then said once they found her body it was mangled making it impossible for investigators to determine when exactly Reyes was killed.

Reyes' husband Timoteo Rodas testified Monday, speaking with a Spanish translator he said he was "worried, I didn’t know where she was at. We have been together 24 years and nothing like this has ever happened.”

If convicted, Jarrett could have another life sentence tacked on to the ones he’s already serving for home invasion and raping an 85 year-old woman in Grandville in 2014.

Jarrett was released in prison in December of 2012 after serving 30 years for murdering a woman in Pennsylvania.

Shawn Jarrett (left) and Yolanda Reyes