Sara Starr’s husband terrified her before her murder: Witness

A soldier who served with accused killer Jason Starr in the Army said he helped Starr’s former wife, Sara Starr, hastily move from their home.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:30 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) - A soldier who served with accused killer Jason Starr in the Army said he helped Starr’s former wife, Sara Starr, hastily move from their home because she feared her former husband.

Lawrence Leuci testified as she prepared to relocate after a nasty divorce, Jason Starr arrived, and Ms. Starr turned pale with fear.

Jason Starr is accused of hiring his brother, Darin, to kill Sara Starr to keep from paying spousal and child support to her.

Sara, reportedly in a financial lurch, moved into her church’s parsonage no longer used by the pastor.

In other federal court testimony on Tuesday, prosecutors systematically presented law enforcement officers to bolster their case against brothers charged with conspiring to kill one of their wives, an elementary school teacher.

They allege Jason Starr wanted his former wife, Sara Starr, dead so badly that he paid Darin to drive from his Texas home to Coffee County, Alabama, to kill Ms. Starr.

Federal prosecuting attorneys believe Darin lurked outside Ms. Starr’s home near Chancellor, Alabama, waiting for her to leave for work on November 27, 2017, and when she walked out her door, he shot her twice with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Concerned Harrand Creek Elementary School coworkers found her body under the carport of her rented home.

They allege—and court records confirm—a Coffee County judge had ordered Jason Starr to pay his former wife, with whom he had four children, $2550 a month in spousal and child support. A retired FBI forensics analyst testified that the judge ordered Starr to give them nearly $1,000 of his monthly military retirement.

Starr had a monthly net income of about $6,700, including retirement.

Angry that he must pay over half that to his family, Jason recruited his brother, Darin, by purchasing him a motorcycle and making a series of payments in the three months leading up to her death to a third party to kill Sara Starr, prosecutors claim.

Defense attorney Jim Parkman disputed Starr’s income, and under cross-examination, the expert admitted he did not include about $2,300 in disability and VA payments he received monthly. However, the expert testified that the support Starr owed would have increased if the court had considered that income in his divorce decree.

Defense attorneys Parkman, Aimee Cobb Smith, and Jon Carlton Taylor played down those payments they claim were part of Starr’s bank records, with no attempt to hide the transactions.

They claim a motorcycle heard in the area about the time 36-year-old Sara Starr died was likely a Harley-Davidson, not the Triumph model that Jason Starr bought for his brother, for which he paid $300 after it was wrecked by the previous owner.

Prosecuting and defense attorneys anticipate the trial to continue into next week.

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