Man charged in woman's 2009 abduction, death


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 8:34 AM

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- A cold case murder in Williamson County is a step closer to being solved.

A release from Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty's office says Crispin James Harmel, 33, has been charged with the 2009 kidnapping, robbery, beating and strangulation death of 27-year-old Jessika Lynn Kalaher.

The release states that in September of 2009, Kalaher was found dead in her car across from a Walmart store in Cedar Park. She had stopped at the store to buy dog food.

Authorities say Harmel kidnapped her and assaulted her in her car at another location. They believe he then drove her car back to the Walmart, leaving her inside. He left the scene in his own truck.

Kalaher died later that day from her injuries.

The release says in 2010, Harmel was convicted of credit card abuse and tampering with evidence. He pleaded guilty and received 10 years in prison.

“I believe that Mr. Harmel assumed that by taking the maximum punishment on these two cases, the murder case would go away; he was wrong,” D.A. Duty said. “I want to make sure that Mr. Harmel is never released into society again. The abduction and murder of Jessika was far too easy for Harmel. It is clear, if he has not done something like this before, he will do it again.”

Duty says advances in forensic science led to the new charges against Harmel.

Once Harmel is released from prison, he will be taken to the Williamson County Jail where he faces the new charges. If convicted, he faces life in prison or the death penalty.