A Texas fitness instructor was sentenced to life behind bars on Monday for the 2016 killing of a Texas college student. A jury found Charles Bryant, 31, guilty on first-degree murder charges for the gory death of 24-year-old Jacqueline Vandagriff, a student at Texas Woman's University.
Vandagriff’s victim's heart was cut out, and her dismembered and burnt body was left in a kiddie pool in a park. Bryant had confessed to dismembering and burning a college student's body after claiming she died during kinky sex gone wrong.
During the trial, which began earlier this month, Bryant’s attorney Glynis McGinty argued Bryant and Vandagriff had consensual rough sex in Bryant's car after they met in a bar on September 13. She claimed that Bryant used a zip tie for autoerotic asphyxiation, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Then, she claimed her client panicked and tried to cover up her death.
The prosecution, however, argued that there was no proof that the two had sex at all. They argued that the murder was deliberate, not accidental.
“Why cut out the heart? What does it have to do with disposing of a body? He cut her heart out,” prosecutor Lucas Allan said, according to the Star-Telegram. "I want that image to sink in."
In addition to murder charges, Bryant was also found guilty of tampering with evidence. He received 20 additional years for that, which will be served concurrently to his murder conviction, according to the Associated Press.
Just one week before Bryant met the college student, Bryant was arrested twice for allegedly stalking his teenage ex, according to Dallas News. He has not been charged in connection with that incident. While investigating Vandagriff’s killing, police also allegedly discovered child porn on Bryant’s phone, though charges have not been filed for that either.
[Photo: Grapevine Police Department]