FROM STAFF REPORTS
AUSTIN — A Travis County district judged sentenced a former Pedernales Fire Department firefighter to 60 years in prison Feb. 12 for the July 2011 murder of 22-year-old Veronica Navarro.
On Feb. 11, a Travis County jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a guilty verdict against Joe Derek Carr, 29, for murdering Navarro and then attempting to dispose of her body.
In early July 2011, workers found Navarro’s body on the east side of Pace Bend Park in western Travis County. Her body was wrapped in a tent and weighted down with paint cans, Travis County sheriff’s investigators reported at the time.
A few days later, Carr was stopped at the Canadian border in North Dakota after Canadian authorities became suspicious of the man after he requested a tourist’s visa — something not required for U.S. citizens. Canadian officials contacted Travis County authorities and learned Carr was wanted for questioning in Navarro’s death. He was later detained by U.S. officials in North Dakota until he was returned to Travis County.
According to a 2011 Travis County probable cause affidavit, Carr and Navarro shared a residence in the 1200 block of CR 407 in Burnet County, just northwest of Spicewood. During a July 9 search of the residence, investigators found two gallon-size paint cans that had stickers matching cans found with Navarro’s body. Along with the paint cans, investigators found a part of a tent that matched the one in which Navarro’s body was wrapped, according to the document.
State District Judge Cliff Brown sentenced Carr’s terms to run concurrently.