limon_testifies

Sabrina Limon testifies Thursday in her murder trial. 

Felix Adamo / The Californian

On Aug. 17, 2014, Sabrina Limon spent a total of three hours and 43 minutes talking with her lover, the man who would gun down her husband later that day.

"What did you talk about?" prosecutor Eric Smith asked Friday as he continued his cross-examination of Limon, on trial for murder in her husband's death.

She said she couldn't remember, but it was likely just normal things like how each other's days were going, and what her children were doing.

"He didn't tell me he was going to Tehachapi to kill my husband," she said. 

Smith then displayed a slew of text messages Limon sent to the lover, former Redlands firefighter Jonathan Hearn, in the weeks after her husband's death.

"Oh how I love you!!!!" she wrote in one sent Sept. 5, 2014. 

"I adore you Jonathan Hearn," she wrote in another sent the same day.

Noting the date the texts were sent, Smith asked, "So in less than three weeks you were over your husband?"

No, Limon said. She said that period of her life was a blur as she tried to process her feelings. Her mind was "scrambled up," and she doesn't know what she was thinking.

"It's unexplainable," she said.

Smith has argued since Limon's trial began Sept. 11 that she and Hearn conspired together in the death of her husband so they could spend their lives together. 

Hearn, 27, testified earlier in the trial that that was indeed the case. He said they plotted 38-year-old Robert Limon's death months before Hearn fatally shot him at a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway office in Tehachapi.

Months before the killing, they tried to poison Robert Limon, but abandoned the plot over fears of getting caught, he testified.

Hearn accepted a plea agreement earlier this year that will land him in prison for 25 years and four months in return for his testimony. Defense attorney Richard Terry has argued Hearn's word — which he said is the only evidence against his client — cannot be trusted. 

Sabrina Limon, 37, has testified she never talked with Hearn about killing her husband. She said she still loved Robert Limon and couldn't picture her life without him, but she also loved Hearn, with whom she'd been carrying on an affair for two years. 

In her conversations with Hearn, she testified, the two of them simply fantasized about what their life together would be like. 

Then why, Smith asked, did she send Hearn a text on Sept. 11, 2014, and tell him she bought him "some thing practical" that "will one day be something we share in our house?"

That's not just fantasy, Smith said. Purchasing something for their future home is taking action.  

In reference to questions investigators asked her after her husband was found dead, Smith asked Limon why she didn't tell them she had a lover.

It was apparently well known in Silver Lakes, a community in Helendale where the Limons lived, that she and Robert Limon had an open marriage, Smith said. Why be embarrassed over an affair?

"Well, they weren't in the bedroom with us," Sabrina Limon said. "We didn't invite all of Silver Lakes over."

Smith played a number of excerpts from wiretapped phone calls. In one, Kern County sheriff's Detective Robert Meyer calls and tells her they have no new information regarding her husband's killing.

Minutes later, Sabrina Limon calls Hearn and tells him investigators have nothing.

"Everything is fine," she says. 

How is everything fine, Smith asked, if there's no new information regarding her husband's murder?

Sabrina Limon said she was talking about the affair. She still didn't want detectives, or anyone else, to find out about it. 

In another, later call, Meyer says they have the following suspect information: white, male, skinny, named "Jon" or something like that with a "J," "O," and "N," rides a motorcycle and possibly knew Robert Limon.

Sabrina Limon gave Meyer the names of two men named "John" who worked with her husband, but not Hearn's name. And shortly after the call with Meyer, she called Hearn.

"So after giving these names, you call a white male, skinny, who knew Rob, who had a "J" "O" "N" in his name, who had a motorcycle?" Smith asked.

"Which one of those descriptions does not perfectly match Jonathan Hearn?"

Sabrina Limon testified she didn't know what she was thinking, and just wanted to keep concealing Hearn as her lover. She couldn't believe Hearn was capable of murder, she said.

Beginning his redirect examination, Terry displayed dozens of photos Sabrina Limon posted to her Facebook page from 2012 to 2014. In each, she's with her husband and children, either at the beach, on the lake or otherwise hanging out.

She and her family are smiling, she and her husband often embracing, in the photos. As she looked at them, Sabrina Limon became emotional, and wiped away tears with a tissue. 

"Just because of your relationship with Jonathan, did you stop loving your husband?" Terry asked.

"Never," she said. 

The trial resumes 1:30 p.m. Monday. 

Jason Kotowski can be reached at 661-395-7491. Follow him on Twitter: @tbcbreakingnews.

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