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Murder trial day 3: Abilene man accused of killing girlfriend was part of a love-triangle

The Abilene man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body at T&P Lake in Baird was part of a love triangle.

The evidence presented in court on Wednesday included phone conversations between Justin Bennett and Jennifer Herod, who he was romantically involved with at the same time that he was dating Megan Dearman.

Bennett is accused of killing Dearman in 2017.

In one conversation, Bennett is heard telling Herod "You didn't do this" and “I’m the dumb***." He is also heard telling Herod “If I ask you to marry me, you won’t have to say anything against me.”

An Abilene Police Department detective testified that Herod said she drove to T&P Lake in Baird while Bennett and Dearman argued in the backseat.

The detective also said that Bennett allegedly lunged at Dearman and began to strangle her as she yelled "stop."

A medical examiner who took to the stand on Tuesday said Dearman was strangled with a shoestring.

Dearman went missing in January 2017 and her body was found 10 days later at T&P Lake.

"Threw her out like she was a piece of garbage. Who does that? Who does that? No human being," said Lucy Neitzler, a friend of Dearman’s family.

"He took somebody very special, you know. He left two little innocent children behind. One of them is struggling," Neitzler said.

Herod is charged with tampering with evidence.

The Callahan County District Attorney’s Office told KTXS that Herod is out on bond and that her court case is pending.

Bennett’s murder trial will continue on Thursday.

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