According to her testimony, Thurber would occasionally driver her out to the Kaw Wildlife Area because he liked to drive around. At one point, he made the comment to her that "It would be easy to get rid of somebody down here".
Glenda Thurber, Justin's mother, also took the stand Thursday. She says Justin left the house around 11:30 in the morning on January 5th. She and a friend went to lunch around noon.
A few minutes before 7:00 that night, she testified, Justin called saying he needed someone to pick him up. According to her testimony, Justin's dad went out and found him along the road leading away from the lake where Jodi's car was found.
During closing remarks, Morrison pointed at Thurber and again insisted he was responsible for killing Sanderholm.
"Is it more likely than not that the evidence supports the fact that this man over here killed, kidnapped, raped, and sodomized Jodi Sanderholm?," said Morrison. "The answer to that question is absolutely."
After the hearing, Morrison announced he will file a motion to keep the death penalty a possibility in the event of Thurber being found guilty. He has not decided, though, if he actually does plan to seek the death penalty, and said Sanderholm's family may have a say in that.
Thurber will be back in court to enter a plea during his arraignment on July 9th.
Eyewitness News feels it's important to note preliminary hearings are designed for the prosecution to make its case before a judge. The judge does not hear much from defense attorneys, and they can not call witnesses. Justin Thurber's defense will be presented when and if the case goes to trial.
Two other witnesses testified against Thurber on Thursday. Their testimony is outlined below.
The judge heard from Sgt Luke Larson of the Ark City Police Department who found a blue flip-flop in Jodi's car. A matching blue flip-flop was found in an outdoor toilet at Cowley State Fishing Lake.
The first witness of the day was an officer with the Arkansas City Police Department. He testified about finding and processing Thurber's tennis shoes at Thurber's home.
Prosecutors say, the shoes are pieces of evidence that tie Thurber to Jodi's body because they match shoeprints found at the scene where Jodi was found.
Updated Wednesday evening:
The pictures were too much to handle. Pictures of 19-year-old Jodi Sanderholm's body caused her family and friends to cry and her mother and sister even left the courtroom. It came at the end of the first day of the preliminary hearing for 23-year-old Justin Thurber, the man accused of murdering Sanderholm.
Prosecutors called 18 witnesses to the stand to testify against Thurber. Seven testified they saw him either with the Arkansas City teen or her car the day she disappeared, January 5.
After a day of testimony, the prosecution's presented what it says happened the day Sanderholm was murdered. Sanderholm got out of her dance class at Cowley College just before noon and left campus to go home.
The following is the prosecution's timeline of January 5 developed through Wednesday's witness testimony.
--Around noon: Man sees Thurber's car follow Sanderholm's from campus.
--2:00 p.m.: Trucker says he's passed by Sanderholm's Dodge Stratus. Two people are in the car, Thurber as the driver and a woman in the passenger seat.
--5:00 p.m.: Woman says she sees Thurber standing outside Sanderholm's car near where the teen's body is later found.
--5:30 p.m.: Another woman sees Sanderholm's car in the same spot with a man nearby rustling through weeds.