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Testimony reconstructs defendant's actions on day of killing

MCKINNEY, Texas -- A Bible teacher, accused in the slaying of her former lover's wife, behaved normally at lunch with friends only hours after the woman was killed and nearly dismembered with an ax, witnesses say.

Testimony Wednesday in the murder trial of Candace Montgomery, 30, reconstructed her actions on June 13, when elementary school teacher Betty Gore was hacked to death in her home.

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Mrs. Montgomery conducted a vacation Bible school class that morning and later had lunch with friends. In between, her defense attorney has admitted, she went to Mrs. Gore's home and killed her. The defense has contended the slaying was in self defense, but has witheld the details until Mrs. Montgomery takes the stand later in the trial.

Betty Huffeniz, director of the Lucas United Methodist Church Bible school, testified Wednesday she and Suzan Wright were at lunch with Mrs. Montgomery the day Mrs. Gore's nearly dismembered body was found in her garage.

Both women testified there was nothing unusual about Mrs. Montgomery's behavior either at lunch or earlier when she read a Bible story to a children's class.

Mrs. Montgomery has admitted having an affair with the victim's husband, but said it ended nine months before the killing.

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In testimony Tuesday afternoon, Collin County law enforcement officers described the scene of the slaying.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Don Crowder, the officers agreed that the killing was 'not undertaken with a great deal of care.'

Crowder attempted to show the slaying was not premeditated, indicating in his questioning that sewing scissors and butcher knives were available to Mrs. Montgomery had she planned to kill Mrs. Gore.

He also brought out that she left behind a great deal of blood and fingerprints and did not attempt to hide the 3-foot ax.

Testimony from investigator Steve Deffibaugh Wednesday, however, revealed that Mrs. Gore's body had been struck several times with the ax after she was on the floor and possibly dead.

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