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Judge: Horman gardner can tesify about murder plot

A judge ruled Monday that a landscaper who claims Terri Horman offered him money to kill her estranged husband Kaine can indeed testify in their ongoing divorce and custody saga.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Henry Kantor ruled that Rudolpho Sanchez-Estrada could testify before him. However, Kantor said he may still choose not to use that testimony in their custody case. Furthermore, Kantor ruled that Terri's lawyers will not be allowed to cross-examine him, but Kaine’s lawyers will.

Sanchez could testify before Judge Kantor as early as Thursday or Friday, according to his attorney Adam Thayne.

The decision came after Horman’s criminal attorney Stephen Houze argued today that Sanchez’s testimony should not be trusted over fears that investigators had already cut a deal with him. Houze claimed any testimony by Sanchez should be thrown out because it does not show a full picture of the conversations between him and Terri.

Sanchez was deposed early this month by Kaine’s lawyers. That deposition is what prompted Monday’s emergency hearing.

On June 4, 2010, a then 7-year-old Kyron Horman disappeared from Skyline Elementary in Northwest Portland, launching the largest search in state history. Terri is believed to have been the last person to see him alive. She has never been officially named as a suspect in the case.

Weeks after the boy’s disappearance, reports surfaced that Kaine was informed by investigators that Terri had possibly approached Sanchez -- who had done work for the Hormans – several months before Kyron went missing, about carrying out a murder-for-hire plot. The revelation prompted Kaine to file for divorce and take their now 5-year-old daughter Kiara.

This June, Kantor renewed a restraining order originally filed by Kaine in June 2010 against Terri that prevents her from contact with him or Kiara. Terri has since been attempting to get visitation rights with their daughter.

Terri did not attend Monday’s hearing. Along with Houze, her civil attorney Peter Bunch was in the courtroom. Kaine and his attorney Peter Engel were also present.