A Texas woman admitted to straddling another woman in what she called a “prayer position,” though she wouldn’t elaborate or answer further questions regarding the victim’s death “out of fear of incriminating herself,” police say.
That woman, identified as 41-year-old Gloria Ann Jordan, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the death of Gloria Farmer, jail records show.
Farmer was a pastor, and Jordan was her daughter, her obituary says. Police did not immediately respond to McClatchy News when asked if the department has confirmed the relationship.
Wichita Falls Police Department responded to Farmer’s home on Nov. 21, 2021, in what was first considered a medical death, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by McClatchy News. Jordan and another woman told police they were the only ones at the home when Farmer died.
A few days later, on Nov. 24, police initiated a follow-up investigation into Farmer’s death after a family friend raised some concerns. An autopsy was also ordered, which police say confirmed Farmer died of mechanical asphyxia in a death that was ruled a homicide.
Following the raised concerns, police interviewed the other woman who was at the home. She told police on Nov. 24 that Jordan may have killed Farmer, but she didn’t say anything when authorities first came to the home because she was afraid of Jordan, according to the affidavit.
“She stated that while praying, Jordan put her hand on Farmer’s forehead and pushed her backwards in an office chair until Farmer and the chair fell backwards,” the affidavit says. “She said Jordan then straddled Farmer’s body and sat on her chest while Farmer was yelling for her to get off because she could not breathe.”
The woman said she tried pulling Jordan off Farmer but was unable to do so. She told police that “Jordan stayed in that position until Farmer stopped breathing.”
Also on Nov. 24, police talked with Jordan in a hospital room, as she had been admitted on an “unrelated medical condition,” the report says. In the non-custodial interview, police say she admitted to pushing Farmer backward in an office chair until she and the chair fell backward.
“She admitted that she then straddled her body in what she called prayer position with her hand on Farmer’s forehead,” according to the affidavit. “When asked to elaborate on how her body was positioned, Jordan stated that she would not answer any further questions out of fear of incriminating herself.”
In a non-custodial interview, the person is free to leave at any time, police said, and the Miranda warning is not provided. In these interviews, a suspect is free to leave even if they confess to a crime — but police can obtain an arrest warrant after the interview.
In this case, police obtained the warrant on Feb. 1. A public information officer with the department was unsure why an arrest warrant wasn’t obtained until February, but it may have been due to a delay in receiving the full autopsy report or a detective waiting on other evidence.
Police and Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers issued a wanted poster for the arrest of Jordan that day, offering a reward of up to $1,000. By the next day, she was arrested by Burkburnett police and being held on a $150,000 bond.
Burkburnett is about 15 miles northwest of Wichita Falls.
This story was originally published February 4, 2022 6:43 PM.