STREAMING LIVE | Sabrina Limon on trial, charged with husband's murder

Sabrina Limon is seen during her trial in Kern County court in Bakersfield, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, charged with her husband's murder. (KBAK/KBFX photo/pool camera)

NOTE: This story was originally published Monday, Sept. 11, the first day of the Sabrina Limon trial. Live updates will be added below throughout the trial.


The trial is underway for a woman accused of conspiring with her lover to kill her husband.

Sabrina Limon faces six charges, including murder. Robert Limon, a railroad worker, was shot in 2014 at an industrial complex in Tehachapi.

Limon was arrested in January, days before her lover and alleged co-conspirator Jonathan Hearn took a plea deal. Hearn, a firefighter in Redlands, promised to testify against Limon in exchange for a reduction in his charges.

WATCH THE TRIAL LIVE HERE (Note: The stream won't be active when the trial is in break)



Sabrina Limon may be the defendant in this case, but for the third day the witnesses and evidence presented by prosecutors sounded more like a case against Jonathan Hearn. Prosecutors are telling a long story and seem content to spend days establishing Hearn's role as Limon's lover and the shooter in the murder. Hearn is expected to provide the testiony about Limon's role when he takes the stand.

Jurors listened to testimony from Hearn's family today, his younger sister, mother and father.

His sister, Emily, was on the stand for about an hour and a half, fighting tears as she spoke affectionately about her brother and Limon. She said she'd befriended Limon in the months after Robert Limon's death and hoped that the best was still to come for the widow.

Based on conversations with Sabrina Limon, as well as information from her brother, Emily said she believed Limon was mistreated and that her marriage lacked "single, solitary, monogamous love." She said her brother's fast-growing relationship with Limon after the murder didn't strike her as odd at the time, given the background she had about the Limon's marriage, but in hindsight it was unusual.

Hearn's mother, Carol Hearn, also fought tears as she spoke about her first suspicions that Jonathan had killed a woman's husband. She said that he wrote letters that led her to believe that his "hands were not clean." In hindsight, she said that Jonathan was probably trying to soften the blow before the truth came out fully.

Hearn's father, Mike Hearn, was interviewed by both attorneys about a Bible story found in the Old Testament book of II Samuel about King David's adulterous affair with a married woman named Bathsheba and his efforts to kill her husband, Uriah. God forgives David in the biblical narrative, but David suffers consequences for years to come.

Police drew strong similarities between the biblical account and the lives of Hearn and Limon. They say the two of them discussed the story after the murder. Mike Hearn said his son had been taught the story numerous times growing up. Attorneys wanted Mike Hearn's reaction to Jonathan Hearn and Sabrina Limon discussing it. Hearn's response delved into theology. He noted that everyone in the courtroom was equally capable of doing things that they shouldn't.

In cross-examination, the defense made clear in their interview that if Jonathan Hearn and Sabrina Limon were to be compared to the biblical narrative, it should be noted that the Bible says nothing about David's mistress playing a role in her husband's death.

Jurors also heard from numerous investigators with the sheriff's department as well as the railroad police. Investigators produced evidence of a $300,000 life insurance policy that was cashed, as well as arsenic poison that was found at Jonathan Hearn's residence. Part of the prosecution's claim is that Sabrina Limon and Jonathan Hearn first conspired to poison Robert Limon, but changed their mind.

MORE | Reporter live tweeting from courtroom

MORE | Reporter live tweeting from courtroom


A majority of the testimony provided Tuesday came from Jason and Kelly Bernatene, close friends of Robert and Sabrina Limon, who have divorced since Robert Limon's death.

Jason Bernatene was the first person to inform investigators of the affair between Sabrina Limon and Hearn. He said he warned Robert Limon about Hearn while he was still alive and even confronted Hearn, telling him to back off from Sabrina Limon. He said he felt very uncomfortable with Hearn spending time with Sabrina Limon after her husband's murder.

Kelly Bernatene was called next and fielded tough questions from both sides about the possibility of a sexual relationship she may have had with Robert Limon and whether the couples participated in "wife swapping" at "adult parties."

Bernatene testified that the sex acts at the adult parties were between she and Sabrina Limon and that no wife swapping ever occurred. When asked how Robert Limon came to have nude pictures of her on his phone at the time of his death, she casually suggested that her husband may have given them to him.

Bernatene got agitated during a period of cross-examination, repeatedly asserting that Sabrina Limon had ordered Hearn to kill Robert Limon and that she knew what happened all along and hid it from detectives. She said she believes Sabrina Limon should pay for Robert Limon's murder, noting that she cared for Robert Limon more than Sabrina Limon did.

Other witnesses called Tuesday were either sheriff department investigators or Robert Limon's former co-workers. Sheriff personnel took turns describing their investigative processes, including surveillance work and searches.

Deputy Sean Mountjoy answered numerous questions about phone records that prosecutors said showed a close relationship between Sabrina Limon and Hearn.


close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off