HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Friends and family recalled the day in 2011 a Hutchinson mother was killed. The victim's son, 6, was among those taking the stand Friday in the trial of one of the men accused of shooting and killing Jennifer Heckel. The woman was killed in June 2011 in what prosecutors call a case of mistaken identity.
Charles Logsdon, one of two men charged in the shooting, is on trail in Reno County District Court. "One of the other things I observed while I was doing that walk through the garage is that there was an air compressor on in the corner of the garage and a small woodworking project going," KBI Agent Cory Latham testified.
That project was a gift. A wooden box that a mom and son were creating together to give on Father's Day. A receipt from a Lowe's showed supplies for the project were bought about 5:30 that afternoon. It was a handmade gift for a dad who was working out of town on June 14, 2011. "They said that Jenny's been hurt," Heckle family friend Brett Leiker recalled on the witness stand. "We basically dropped everything we were doing and jumped in the truck and make good time getting home."
That race was to the home of Jenny and Brian Heckel. Co-workers of Brian described a husband in shock and a father worried. The couples' son also testified in court Friday, recalling the events that led him to find his mom on their Kitchen floor. He said the garage door was left open on that hot summer day after they worked on the Father's Day gift.
The boy then went into the sun room to watch TV. That's when he said he heard the door open and then some bangs that sounded like a gun. Those were the shots that investigators say wounded the 27-year-old mother's head and back. "When the gun was fired, it was in relatively close proximity to her," Latham, the KBI Agent, testified. "We're talking farily close. Probably a few feet or less."
In court, Jenny's co-workers described her as a hard worker and a loving person. "She spoke about her son and her husband," one co-worker testified. "You could tel she was very much in love. She had a picture from when they went on their honeymoon that says Mr. and Mrs. Heckle."