Saturday, March 19, 2011

2007 Home Invasion, Assault, Robbery Was Prelude to Murder

Robinson – In the world of stock car racing, it's a late night weekend crowd that gathers to compete on the hard clay tracks under the Saturday night lights.

Joe Sturdivant, a south Waco automatic transmission shop owner who started his business in 1968, was an inaugural member of an elite crowd of car owners and drivers who christened tracks all over Central Texas in first-ever races.

He was 68 years of age when his wife found him dead - shot in the head and back on October 8, 2008 - in a pool of his own blood in his own bed at their rural Robinson residence.

His wife, Joyce Sturdivant, 65, found him there, called police, and days later let the Robinson investigators know that she was missing a diamond-encrusted brooch.

Police published pictures of the piece to see if it would stimulate any leads in the case.

The similarity to another brooch she reported missing after a violent September, 2007, home invasion and robbery in which unnamed assailants beat the couple up and took their valuables and money – is uncanny, to say the least.

In fact, jewelry figures in the two-count capital murder-for-hire indictment upon which Mrs. Sturdivant was arrested and charged last week at the transmission shop where she and her husband built a thriving automotive business over a period of 50 years.

According to the charges, she paid two would-be hit men with jewelry and cash money to kill her husband, with a future promise of a share in the benefits of a life insurance policy in which she was named as the beneficiary.

When Carlos Garcia and Chris Taylor failed to carry out their murderous plot – one which Special Prosecutor Guy Cox has gone on record saying was never a serious plan - Mrs. Sturdivant waited a month and did the job herself, according to the indictment.

In a local news report, Mr. Cox told a reporter, “She wanted him dead for a long time.”

According to Mr. Cox, Robinson detectives and investigators, crime scene technicians of the Texas Department of Public Safety, put on a Power Point presentation that removed all doubt from his mind. He persuaded a Grand Jury to indict the prominent Waco businesswoman who was married to Joe Sturdivant for 35 years.

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