|Rhonda Glover as a young woman|
Rhonda Glover and Jimmy Joste were considered the ultimate Texan couple because Jimmy was a third generation oilman while Rhonda was a former beauty queen. However, Rhonda Glover and Jimmy Joste did not have a happy ending despite 15 years and a child together. Rhonda murdered him in a hail of bullets in his mansion while she temporarily vanished. Mirror Online reports that what emerged as police investigated the crime was a sordid lifestyle of booze, drugs, sex and violence that ended when glamorous Rhonda killed her long term lover.
Joste was an oil man who inherited millions from his family, and earned more by pioneering new oil and gas drilling techniques in the 1980s. Rhonda was not a born and bred Houstonite, but a small town Texas girl, who stood out from the crowd by winning big prizes in rodeo competitions and competing in beauty pageants across the state, including Miss Houston. She was 23 when she met Jimmy, 40, at a party.
He was rich and she was beautiful and manipulative, in return for her sexual prowess, Jimmy showered her with gifts – cars, cash, homes and a £200,000 engagement ring. She mainly lived off his earnings – his friends say she was getting £7,500 a month- but despite their privileged lives the couple argued constantly
|Rhonda Glover and Piers Morgan at the Lowell Unit a women's prison in Florida|
In 1994, the couple had a child together - John James Chandler Joste, or Ronnie. He bought her a house in Austin, and even once wrote her a check for $1 million to use for spending money. But life wasn't quite the fairytale it appeared as he had a tendency toward cocaine and alcohol and Rhonda had erratic mood swings as well as being diagnosed as bi-polar and by 2003, their relationship was on the rocks.
Then in 2004, Rhonda bought a Glock 19 handgun and began taking shooting lessons. On July 15, she arranged a lesson with instructor Americo Mastroianni where she asked about specific scenarios, he recalled: "She wanted to learn how to efficiently make sure her house was clear of any intruders.
"She had stated to me that she had a home in Austin and a home in Houston and when she would go back to her home in Austin, she noticed food missing out of the refrigerator and things moved around like people were staying in her home, so she literally drew me a floor plan of her house and wanted to learn how to walk in the house and make sure that there were no intruders in her home.”
Four days later - July 21, 2004, she rented a 2000 white Ford Taurus for 2 days, leaving it at the car rental to pick up later. After driving another car she had rented earlier round to a friend’s house she parked it outside and left her son with her friend. At midday her friend drove her back to the car rental agency where she picked up the Ford Taurus and drove round to Red’s Indoor Range.
|The scene of the murder|
Shooting from the 7 yard distance, she impressed Mack Farrel, the manager, who could see how much she had improved since she had first visited. He says she was very proud of her shooting... all of her shots were “centre mass”. From there, she drives to Jimmy's house on Mission Oaks, a gated community, where she lets herself in and waits for him in the bedroom. What happened next is unclear but Jimmy ends up dead.
At her trial, a bloodstain pattern analyst said Jimmy was first shot in the bedroom, near the entry door and the bloodstains indicated that he then moved from the bedroom into the hallway as the shooting continued - as if he was trying to get away. There were a total of 13 gunshot wounds to his chest, abdomen, arm, and groin areas. Of the 13 wounds, three were exit wounds, which indicated that he had been shot 10 times.
The wounds to the arm were characterized as defensive wounds which, and according to the chief medical examiner “are the ones that the victims have when they are trying to shield themselves from the assailant.”
The angle of at least one of the bullet wounds indicated that Jimmy was shot at least once while he was lying on the ground. After the shooting, which Rhonda later says was in self defence, she drove the hire car back at her friend’s house. Shortly afterwards, she left with her son with her friends later saying she appeared to be calm.
When Jimmy's body is discovered hours later, a call was put out to find Glover and her son and Kansas Highway Patrol officers traced signals from Glover's cell phone to a car parked outside the Golden Ox truck stop. Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Mark Deterding said Glover had stopped to buy milk for her son. Wearing a yellow sundress, she surrendered and was charged with murdering her ex partner.
During her police interview, Rhonda confessed to Jimmy's murder but appeared to be very disturbed reporting that Jimmy was smoking crack and worshipped the devil. Prosecutors believe she grew tired of him after spending much of his money during their on-again, off-again relationship and say she carefully planned the murder, starting by in the months before.
They say she waited for him, gun loaded, in the bedroom. "She lured him to the house," prosecutor Gail Van Winkle said. "He worshiped this woman. And she surprised him with the gun and started shooting."
During her trial, Patricia Swenson a mutual friend of the couple, tells the court about a conversation she had in May 2004 in which Rhonda told her that Jimmy “was the devil and that she had to get rid of him.”
When asked how she was going to “get rid of” Jimmy, Swenson testified that Rhonda said she planned on seducing him at the house, handcuffing him to the bed, cutting off his genitals, and setting the house on fire. Rhonda told the jury she had been avoiding Jimmy for months before the killing because he would drink too much and beat her.
She said she didn't think Jimmy would be at the house, but he came home, yelled at her and then grabbed her throat. "I shot him," she testified, sobbing on the stand. "I shot him because I thought he was going to kill me."
After just two hours of deliberations, the jury found Rhonda guilty of murder - she was jailed for 46 years with a projected release date of 2050. She'll be eligible for parole from 2027.