Climer takes plea deal for murder of missing Lubbock woman

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Kody Climer took a plea deal Friday in court for the murder of his mother, Linda Gail Wilhite. Wilhite’s body has, to this day, not been recovered. 

Climer agreed to serve life in prison in exchange for his guilty plea. We are still working to get more information on the specific details of the plea bargain. 

Climer went on trial, starting this week, but the trial was unexpectedly delayed on Wednesday.  No explanation was given to the jury. 

The case started in August of 2016 when someone had not seen Wilhite, 67, in a few days and asked police go check on her.  Police found a large amount of blood in her home in the 6100 block of 38th Street. The case was treated as a homicide right from the start. 

Climer, age 45 at the time, was living in the same duplex as his mother. Police found him in his mother’s vehicle and arrested him a few days later on a previous assault charge.  In the assault charge, Climber was accused of pulling a knife on his ex-girlfriend at a convenience store.

While he was in custody for assault, a murder charge was brought against him.

Trial statement (victim impact statement) by Jackie Shelton, Wilhite’s cousin:

I would like to begin by saying that from the very first call I made for a welfare check on Linda to the police department, that every policeman, detective and DA personnel have been extremely professional, kind and very sensitive to our family during these three years of tragedy. Thank you from our family.

Kody, at the beginning of this trial I stated I didn’t really know you. But I do know you were Linda’s son and she loved you very much. Parenting is the hardest task we are given but one of the most rewarding. I am sure Linda made mistakes with you and Ronnie as I have with my children and all parents have done at one time or another. I know the last few weeks of her life she was told by several people “You need to get Kody out of your house”. Her answer was always “I can’t, he is my son. I can’t put him out in the streets.” That is unconditional love God gives a mother. That is how a I know she loved you very much. This is what makes it so hard for me to understand how you could take her from her brother, her grandchildren and all of her family that loved her.

I prayed everyday that Lonnie would never have to be here at this trial to Hear all the terrible things that happened to her and what you did with her body. God answered that prayer and took him home in February. I am here because I loved Linda and Lonnie and want to see justice done for them. Yes, we will never know exactly how or why Linda was taken from us but the one who does know everything is God and you will have to face him someday. If you haven’t heard anything else I have said, I hope you remember everyday for the rest of your life “Linda loved you unconditionally” and that someday you will admit to what you have done and repent to God. I pray for peace and forgiveness for our family. 

Image of Linda Gail Wilhite provided by Lubbock Police

Related Story: Climer trial suddenly on hold, “unforeseen circumstances”

Related Story: Linda Wilhite’s Family Wants Answers on the One Year Anniversary of Her Disappearance

Related Story: Son Charged with Murder in Missing Lubbock Woman’s Case

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