Trial underway for Phoenix man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Kiera Bergman

It was Day 1 on Tuesday of the murder trial for Jon Christopher Clark who prosecutors say murdered 19-year-old Kiera Bergman in 2018.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 5:04 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Tuesday was day one of the Kiera Bergman murder trial four years after the 19-year-old went missing in Phoenix and was found dead in the desert a month later. Her ex-boyfriend Jon Christopher Clark is charged with 2nd-degree murder.

Kiera’s family has waited so long for their time in court after several complications and changes with the case since 2018. Tuesday set the tone for the entire trial — the prosecution zeroing in on cell phone records and the defense focusing on the lack of DNA evidence and an undetermined cause of death.

Her disappearance and death made national headlines in 2018 when Kiera’s family searched for the teen, and now her family is back in Phoenix, only this time in a courtroom. “It’s kind of… don’t know if the word I want to use is surreal but we’re sitting in there now, it’s happening. I’m getting chills just talking about it,” said Kiersten Crayton, Kiera’s mom.

“Driving here…18 hour drive…had a long time to think about stuff. It’s very difficult,” said Braydee Bragg, Kiera’s little sister.

Kiera went missing after her ex-boyfriend Jon Clark picked her up from work in West Phoenix that August. He admitted to police that he and Kiera had an argument and he was going to stay with a friend but said Kiera stormed out of the apartment. He said he did not kill her. Her body was found by mountain bikers in the desert a month later.

Kiera was last seen alive in surveillance footage leaving work in a Mission Bay sweatshirt when Jon picked her up. Prosecutors revealed Tuesday she was wearing that same sweatshirt when her body was found.

Prosecutors said Kiera and Jon’s phones only worked when connected to Wi-Fi and said while Kiera was missing, her phone was still connecting to her apartment Wi-Fi and Jon’s friend Alonzo’s Wi-Fi where Jon was staying. “On the 7th, still his phone is connecting to Alonzo’s IP address. And then whoop, so does Kiera’s. It connects to Alonzo’s IP address. Nobody’s seen her, she’s not there,” said the prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the defense said physical evidence is weak or nonexistent. No cause of death was ever determined, no gunshot or stab wounds or blunt force trauma was found on her body, and nothing incriminating was found in their apartment or Jon’s car. “We have an apartment where the state believes there was a murder on August 4th. We have no DNA, we have no blood,” the defense attorney said.

Kiera’s mom and sister said the hardest part is having to relive it all but said they’re keeping their focus on justice for Kiera. “The thing that got me was seeing the last known picture of her. That made me kind of cry,” Braydee said.

To put it all into perspective for Kiera’s family, her little sister Braydee, who was 16 at the time, is now older than Kiera was when she died. Braydee said that makes it all that much more surreal.

In this case, the attorneys said the witness list is quite long; the trial will likely go on for over a month.