The boyfriend of Pascagoula native Jessie Bardwell, 27, has been found guilty of her murder, The Dallas Morning News reports.
A jury in Richardson, Texas, returned the guilty verdict Wednesday afternoon against Jason Lowe, 28, who is originally from Jackson.
Valerie Wigglesworth, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, has been covering the trial live via Twitter.
Jury deliberations started Tuesday night. The jury returned its verdict Wednesday afternoon.
Bardwell had moved to Richardson, a suburb north of Dallas, in December 2015 to live with Lowe. Her family reported her missing May 9, 2016, after they did not hear from her on Mother’s Day. Lowe was arrested after Bardwell’s body was found partially wrapped in bubble wrap in a field in rural Texas.
Lowe faces a maximum of 50 years in prison, Wigglesworth reports. The penalty phase of the trial, like the trial itself, will include opening statements, evidence and closing statements, with the jury deciding Lowe’s fate.
During the trial, Lowe took the stand in his own defense.
Jessie Bardwell’s father and mother, Gary and Carla Bardwell, are attending the trial. They were in the courtroom for the verdict, Wigglesworth tweeted.
The family is well-known in Pascagoula, where more than 200 people showed up for a candlelight vigil on the beach for Jessie Bardwell in May 2016, when everyone still had hope she was alive.
Bardwell had been working as a waitress in Orange Beach before moving to Texas.