Man pleads not guilty as murder trial opens - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

UPDATE: Myers found guilty in the shooting death of his sister, jury sentences him to 60 years in prison

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GILMER (KYTX) -- A Big Sandy man is found guilty of murder in an Upshur County court Tuesday. The jury delivered the verdict late this afternoon for 55-year old Glenn Myers, Jr. The judge did not allow cameras in the courtroom today. CBS 19's Abby Broyles was in court and joins us now live from the Upshur County Justice Center. The jury deliberated more than 4 hours this afternoon before finding Myers guilty. Myers told the court he was innocent from the witness stand today, but it wasn't enough to convince the jury.
 
In the second day of testimony Tuesday, the defendant, 55-year old Glenn Wade Myers, Jr., took the witness stand. He told the court he didn't kill his sister, 52-year old Cindy Espinoza.

Prosecutors say Myers shot and killed his sister on July 2, 2011 on their family property in Big Sandy. Investigators say they found the shotgun that killed Espinoza behind Myer's house.

In court, the defense called the investigation "sloppy."

"It's important to talk about who else could have been involved. The sheriff's office didn't even look at anybody else," Defense attorney Tim Cone said.

Prosecutors disagreed. "This trial is not about the police or the Upshur County Sheriff's Office. All evidence pointed to Glenn Myers," Asst. District Attorney Edward Choy said.

Phillip Williams, with our news partners at the Tyler Morning Telegraph, was in court for the trial Monday.
 
"I think the key testimony for the prosecution came from the daughter-in-law of the victim who said she heard a gunshot, looked out her window and saw the defendant hobbling at a fast pace... and that he had a gun in his hand," Williams said.

Espinoza owned the property where Myers lived. Prosecutors say Myers shot Espinoza outside his house when she came to collect the rent.

"The one thing I thought unusual was there was no real motive established for why the defendant would do this," Williams says, "there was some suggestion during the questioning that there was some kind of financial dispute in the family between he and his sister."

The jury started deliberating just before noon Tuesday, to determine Myer's fate. The jury was deadlocked most of the afternoon. Around 4:00, they delivered the guilty verdict. At 6:00, the jury sentenced Myers to 60 years in prison.

 
UPDATE (KYTX 6:14 p.m.) -- The jury has sentenced Myers to 60 years in prison.
 

UPDATE (KYTX 4:18 p.m.) - A jury has found Glenn Wade Myers Jr guilty of murdering his sister, 52-year-old Cindy Espinoza, outside her rural home near Big Sandy on July 2.
 

GILMER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) -- The jury in the murder trial of Glenn Wade Myers, Jr.., began deliberations late this morning after hearing the defendant testify he did not shoot his sister.
Myers, 55, of Big Sandy, is charged with killing 52-year-old Cindy Espinoza outside her home on Nutmeg Road near Big Sandy last July 2. Testimony established the victim was shot in the mouth with a .410-gauge shotgun, and that her brother lived on the same property she did.

Key prosecution testimony came Monday from the victim's daughter-in-law, Nochell White, who said she heard a gunshot while inside a home on the Espinoza family property. Ms. White said she looked out a window and saw Myers, who walks with a limp, "hobbling" at a fast pace with a gun in hand.

Myers became emotional at times during more than 40 minutes on the witness stand Tuesday morning. On the day of the shooting, he said, he tried to kill a snake with a "piece of long skinny wood," but it got away.

When his attorney, Tim Cone, asked, "Glenn, did you kill her (the victim)?," the defendant replied, "No, sir, I did not." Myers also said he had never seen the shotgun introduced into evidence in the case, and that he had no access to any gun except a toy gun on the day of the crime.

In closing arguments to the jury, Cone assailed the investigation of the case by the Upshur County Sheriff's Office as "flat, lazy, sloppy work." Among other criticisms, he said the office never looked at anyone except Myers as a suspect and that it failed to look for fingerprints.

But Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd pointed to scientific evidence that Myers had a small spot of Ms. Espinoza's blood on the back of his shirt. And the lead prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Edward Choy, told jurors "all the evidence pointed to Glenn Myers," including eyewitness testimony
 

GILMER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) -- Testimony in the murder trial of Glenn Wade Myers Jr. opened Monday with the daughter-in-law of the victim testifying she saw Myers with a gun near the scene after hearing a gunshot.

Myers, 55, of Big Sandy, is charged with shooting his sister, 52-year-old Cindy Espinoza, outside her rural Nutmeg Road home near Big Sandy on July 2. He pled not guilty Monday, one week after a six-man, six-woman jury was seated for the trial in 115th District Court.

Testimony resumes at 8:30 a.m. today. Judge Lauren Parish of the 115th District told jurors late Monday afternoon they might receive the case by noon today. The state presented 11 witnesses Monday, including emotional testimony from Mrs. Espinoza's daughter and daughter-in-law, who were nearby when the victim was shot in the face with a .410-gauge shotgun.

The daughter-in-law, Nochell White, said she was talking on the phone in her home on the family property when she heard a gunshot.

"I saw Glenn running across the clearing" between his trailer on the property and Ms. Espinoza's home, Ms. White testified. "He had a gun in his hand. ... He was moving at a fast pace, but he was hobbling because he had a limp."

The victim's daughter, Dawn Tigue, testified before Ms. White and wept as she recounted the events of July 2. She said she was sitting on her bed, reading a book when "I heard a boom."

She said she went out on the front porch, looked off to the side and saw her mother lying on the ground. She said she called her mother's name, but got no response, and that she called 911.

After that, Ms. Tigue said, she returned to her mother to find "blood everywhere" and "I saw that part of her mouth was missing." She said she then went to her brother's house and told Ms. White "something happened to Mom."

Every time she screamed for help, Ms. Tigue testified, music from a radio in Myers' house "would just get louder and louder." She said her mother had just showered and was going over to collect rent from Myers.

A recording of the scream-filled and sometimes-incoherent 911 call, apparently from Ms. Tigue and Ms. White, was presented to the jury before the women testified. One of the female callers was in hysterics while the other was able to provide information.

Upshur County Sheriff's Detective David Cruz, who led the investigation, testified he interviewed Myers, who said "somebody had told him a lady had been hurt. He wanted to know who it was."

Asked by Assistant District Attorney Edward Choy whether Myers "acted like he didn't know what was going on," Cruz replied yes.

"Did he show any remorse that his sister had been killed?" Choy asked.

"I saw none," replied Cruz, who said this was the first homicide investigation of his career since becoming a lawman in 2007.

Another officer who responded to the scene, Sheriff's Deputy David Thompson, said he beat on the door of Myers' travel trailer and several deputies called for about five minutes for Myers to come out before the defendant peacefully exited.

Myers was handcuffed, put on the ground and at some point asked what was going on, Thompson testified. When told somebody had been shot, Myers wanted to know who, the officer testified.

The deputy said he had no idea of the victim's identity at the time.

Defense attorney Tim Cone grilled Cruz about the Upshur County Sheriff's Office's investigation of the shooting.

Cruz said he did not perform a hand swab of Myers to detect gunshot residue because the Texas Department of Public Safety would refuse to perform laboratory analysis on the type of testing kits the sheriff's office had then.

"Y'all didn't have the right kind of swabs?" Cone asked.

"That is correct," Cruz replied.

Cruz also said he did not believe evidence analyzed at a laboratory came back with the defendant's fingerprints.

According to testimony, the shotgun introduced into evidence was found under a tool box on the property four days after the shooting, and testing showed it fired the fatal shot.

Cruz acknowledged he did not trace the gun to Myers but said authorities looked for no other suspects because of the evidence against him. The gun and shotgun shells were found near Myers' home, and a witness had seen the defendant running with what appeared to be a long black gun, the detective testified.

He also said there was "absolutely not" any evidence that Ms. Tigue, Mrs. White or Mrs. White's husband -- who was reportedly in Louisiana at the time -- shot Mrs. Espinoza.

Dr. Tommy J. Brown, who performed the autopsy on the victim, said she died of "a shotgun wound to the head into the mouth."

He said she had two shotgun wads in her mouth that were "consistent with a .410."

Dr. Brown estimated the gun barrel was only two to three feet from Mrs. Espinoza when she was shot. He said the range could be closer than that, but not much further.

In opening arguments, Choy said the victim's blood was found on Myers' shirt. However, the state has introduced no motive for the shooting.
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