UPDATE: Nichols found guilty of first-degree murder - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

UPDATE: Nichols found guilty of first-degree murder

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Bobby Ray Nichols Bobby Ray Nichols
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UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) - A jury has found Dr. Bobby Nichols guilty of first-degree murder. Punishment deliberation begins tomorrow. Nichols faces from five years to a life sentence.

 


 

UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) - The case is now with the Jury.

UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) - The Defense rests its case in the Nichols trial. The Defense asked for a lesser charge of manslaughter to be an option but were denied.


UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) -- Dr. Bobby Nichols testified in his own defense Wednesday in Smith County's 7th District Court. Nichols is charged with the murder of his wife Rosalind.

Nichols started by describing his life with Rosalind which he said included frequent dinners at nice restaurants and church two to three times a month.

Defense attorney Bradley Lollar asked Nichols about his personal friends, specifying that he was referring to ones Nichols did not share with Rosalind.

"She didn't like my friends from the time we got married and she never gave up," Nichols said. "She threw me a 75th birthday party and I had to twist her arm to let me have them there."

Nichols said on the afternoon of his wife's death he had been to Willowbrook Country Club and Dakota's restaurant prior to going home.

"In the past had Rosalind told you she wanted you to spend time out of the house?" Lollar asked.

"She said she didn't want a house husband," Nichols said.

Lollar asked whether Nichols thought his own children felt comfortable in the home he shared with Rosalind. Nichols said they did not.

"With the situation being that your friends and family couldn't come over, how did that make you feel?" Lollar asked.

"I felt like less of a person because I attempted in the best way I could to make us a full family but I could never achieve that," Nichols said.

Nichols said Rosalind was not tolerant of a "stoop" that developed in his physical stature that had developed over the last five years.

"Did your physical deterioration stop you from doing things you had done earlier in your marriage?" Lollar asked.

Nichols said it did.

"Would it be accurate to say you have suffered bouts of severe depression in your life?"

"I was depressed, yes," Nichols said.

Lollar recounted a diagnosis saying Nichols suffered from bi-polar disorder. Nichols said he took Lithium 25 years ago but had not taken psychotropic medications since then.

"[Rosalind] had a nickname for me," Nichols said. "She called me the bi-polar man. If we had an argument that was her way of really stabbing me. I'm not happy to admit that."

Lollar asked if that happened often. Nichols said it did.

Lollar asked if the couple's arguments caused the police to be called to their home.

"I could never win an argument with her. Her personality was much stronger than mine," Nichols said. "When she started an argument it was her argument."

Nichols said there was an incident in 1998 in which the police came to find Rosalind beating on his locked bedroom door. He said she had been drinking. He said there was another similar incident in 2000.

Lollar asked about a trip the couple took to Europe a month before Rosalind's death. Nichols said he was worried about the flight over and got a prescription for Ambien, a sleeping pill, prior to the trip.

"I don't remember much about that trip," Nichols said.

"Why don't you remember much about that trip?" Lollar asked.

"I went to the St. Peter's Cathedral and about halfway through my legs wouldn't work," Nichols said. "I was worn out so they pushed me to the end of the line and she and the rest of the group came and picked me up later."

"How did Rosalind react to the event?" Lollar asked.

"It embarrassed her," Nichols said.

"In what way would she express that to you?" Lollar asked.

"She was just super aggravated at me," Nichols said.

Lollar returned to the day of Rosalind's death, asking whether Nichols was aware of Rosalind's plan that day. Nichols said Rosalind had a friend who was planning to come to the Nichols' home and spend the night.

"So when Rosalind would have someone spend the night what would you do and what would they do?" Lollar asked.

"I would go to the farm or just go to my room," Nichols said.

"So as far as you know that was what was planned for that night," Lollar said.

"Yes," Nichols said.

Nichols said it was typical for a maid to come each Friday, and said he left money for the maid on June 29 of 2012 (the day Rosalind died) but did not know if she came. He said he went to his farm, got to Willowbrook Country Club between noon and 12:15.

"Did you have a drink while you were there?" Lollar asked.

Nichols said he only had one drink prior to leaving and going to Dakota's. He said he had two drinks before leaving Dakota's at five that afternoon.

"Did you think you getting home at five o'clock would be something that was pleasing to Rosalind?"

"Yes, but she was disappointed," Nichols said. "She bombarded me with complaints. She said I was always gone on weekends."

Lollar asked Nichols to explain what happened after that.

"The truth be known, I feel like I was not there. I was in a state almost like I was drugged. I felt weird. I knew we were fussing," Nichols said.

"Do you recall telling Detective Shine that she said you ruined her Friday night?" Lollar asked.

"Yes," Nichols said."

"But in fact you had made no plans," Lollar said.

"No," Nichols said.

Lollar asked about Nichols' decision to go out to his truck and get his gun.

"I really in my heart know that's the dumbest thing I ever did. I thought maybe I was going to scare her because I know I can't win an argument. I thought maybe I'd get me a little persuasion," Nichols said. "She wouldn't stop. It was unbearable."

"When you fired at Rosalind you said you didn't mean to kill her." Lollar said.

"No," Nichols said, sobbing. "I loved her."

"After I had done it I sort of woke up from a stupor and there she was slumped over," Nichols said. "From hunting deer, you know what their eyes look like if you got a good shot and you don't need another bullet. I looked into her eyes and I could tell she was dead immediately. I just straightened her up and closed her eyes. I prayed to God that it hadn't happened."

"Since that day, how do you feel about what you did?" Lollar asked.

"It's remorse," Nichols said. "Just remorse.

Nichols said he was concerned most about his grandchildren and what they think about what happened.

Lollar passed Nichols to the prosecution for cross-examination.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish asked about Nichols's statement that he felt "remorse and loneliness" after Rosalind's death. Nichols reiterated those remarks.

"Is that why [in August following Rosalind's death] you went and got a prescription for a vacuum erection device from [your doctor]?" Parrish asked.

"I didn't want to be dead inside," Nichols said. "Rosalind and I hadn't gotten along for ten years."

"And you wanted to get on with your sex life," Parrish said.

"It didn't work," Nichols said.

Parrish asked Nichols whether he stood by his statement that he was "in a fog" the night Rosalind was shot. Nichols said he did.

"But you never told Detective Shine [in the interview following the shooting] that you were in a fog," Parrish said. "You never told the 911 dispatcher that you were in a fog. You never told [your bail bondsman who testified about your confession to him] that you were in a fog."

"I think you're incorrect," Nichols said.

Parrish asked Nichols what Rosalind's favorite meal was. Nichols said it was a stroganoff he made.

Parrish asked what Rosalind liked to do with her grandchildren.

"She played with them just like little kids," Nichols said. "She was the best grandmother in the world."

"And you took her away from them," Parrish said.

"I did," Nichols said. "It's the worst thing I've ever done in my life."

Parrish asked if Nichols was experienced with guns. Nichols said he was, but that his expertise was limited to long guns and not pistols. Parrish asked whether Nichols had trained as a reserve officer for the Smith County Sheriff's Department. Nichols said he had, but that it didn't make him an expert at shooting a pistol.

"How often did you carry [your pistol] during your years as a reserve officer?" Parrish asked.

"Maybe five times," Nichols said.

Nichols said he had either two or three pistols in his gun cabinet at home.

"I've always enjoyed taking a good gun to the woods," Nichols said.

"So you're proud of your collection," Parrish said.

Parrish asked whether any of the guns in Nichols' collection were handed down from his father or anyone else. Nichols said they were not.

"You've been a hunter all your life," Parrish said. "What's the slowest way to kill an animal?"

"I try to kill them fast," Nichols said.

"But what shot are you trying to avoid?" Parrish asked.

"You probably want me to say what happened to my wife," Nichols said.

"No we know what happened to your wife," Parrish said. "What about the deer?"

"You don't want a guy shot," Nichols said.

"Why not?" Parrish asked.

"They'll run a hundred yards before they fall over," Nichols said.

"A slow death," Parrish said.

Parrish asked about the videotaped interview at the Tyler Police Department on July 2, 2012. Parrish said Detective Shine told Nichols he would have to end the interview in order to leave and interview a stabbing.

Parrish asked why Nichols responded "stabbing, that's a slower deal than mine was." Nichols said he did not know.

Parrish asked about some of Nichols' other recorded remarks. Nichols said he did not recall those statements.

"It was a killing," Nichols said. "I killed her and I never said I didn't."

"On June 29th you never told [anyone] that you just got the gun to scare her," Parrish said.

Nichols said he never got into detail that day.

Parrish asked how many shotguns and rifles Nichols had inside the home. Nichols said he had a total of approximately 13 in the gun cabinet.

"You could have gotten any of those guns to scare her," Parrish said.

"It never dawned on me," Nichols said. "I wasn't thinking this through."

"You could have used the 22 pistol," Parrish said.

"I couldn't find the key," Nichols said.

"You could have used the 44 Magnum," Parrish said.

"I didn't have any bullets for the 44 Magnum," Nichols said.

"You could have used one of the shot guns to scare her," Parrish said.

"Yes," Nichols said. "But I wouldn't have done that."

Parrish asked whether Nichols kept a bullet in the chamber of the 9mm pistol used to kill Rosalind or whether he just kept them in the magazine. Nichols said he usually kept one in the chamber.

Parrish asked about evidence that Rosalind had been hit by someone or something prior to being shot.

"How many times did you hit her to give her those bruises?" Parrish asked.

"I don't recall doing that," Nichols said.

"So you don't admit it and you don't deny it," Parrish said.

"I was in a stupor," Nichols said.

Parrish asked why Nichols didn't cry when photos of Rosalind's body were shown.

"You can't spend your whole crying," Nichols said.

"In your June 29th interview Detective shine asked if you'd been having the urge to kill your wife," Parrish said showing Nichols a transcript. "What's your response?"

"[I said] 'for years,'" Nichols said.

Parrish asked whether Nichols was calm when he called 911. Nichols said he did not recall.

Parrish asked about Nichols' alleged remarks indicating he had considered suicide that night.

"You couldn't do to yourself what you did to your wife of 26 years," Parrish said.

Nichols said he didn't recall what was going through his head that night.

"I don't know why you guys keep badgering me," Nichols said.

"Because you murdered your wife," Parrish said.

"Before you called 911 that night what were you doing?" Parrish asked.

"I don't know," Nichols said.

"Did you make yourself a drink?" Parrish asked.

"No," Nichols said.

"Did you go out and get a gun that night?" Parrish asked.

"Yes," Nichols said.

"Did you point a gun at Rosalind?" Parrish asked.

"How many times have I told you that?"Nichols said.

"Did you pull the trigger twice?" Parrish said.

"I don't recall," Nichols said.

Nichols repeatedly accused Parrish of "running things into the ground" by asking questions he said he didn't understand.

"Mr. Nichols you murdered your wife, didn't you?" Parrish asked.

"I realize that I did and it's not something that I like living with," Nichols said.

Parrish told Nichols he was recorded as having told detectives "I'm not saying I'm nuts" in an interview on June 29th. Nichols said he was referring to what happened following the gun being fired.

Parrish asked way Nichols went and spent $100 at a liquor store following the murder. Nichols said he was buying it for a friend.

Parrish finished his questioning of Nichols and Lollar called Dr. John Ellis, a friend of Nichols' since dental school in 1978.

Lollar asked Ellis several questions regarding Nichols' reputation. Ellis answered that Nichols has a good reputation for truthfulness and generally being a good person in the Tyler community.

Lollar called Patsy Tompkins as his next witness. Tompkins said she worked for Nichols for twenty years.

Lollar asked Tompkins similar questions about Nichols' reputation.

"Everything I knew about him was good," she said.

"If doctor Nichols had taken a gun and pointed it at you would you still think he was a peaceful person?" Parrish asked.

"I'd think he was not himself," Tompkins said.

Tompkins said she had been to Nichols' home to visit him and ate stroganoff with him.

"Did you see the red couch in the living room?" Parrish asked.

"I remember seeing red," Tompkins said.

"Do you enjoy your meal?" Parrish asked.

"I did," Tompkins said.

Lollar called William Turner as his next witness. Turner said he'd been a close friend and patient for more than forty years.

Lollar asked Turner the same questions about Nichols' reputation. Turner said Nichols' reputation was good.

Parrish asked if Turner had ever known Nichols to abuse nitrous oxide. Turner said he had not.

Lollar's next witness was Dr. R. J. Donaldson, who also said he thought Nichols to have a good reputation.

"Do you think a peaceful person murders their wife?" Parrish asked.

"No," Donaldson said.

 

 


UPDATE: (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Retired dentist Bobby Nichols said he would take the stand in his own defense this morning.

Judge Kerry Russell reprimanded prosecutors in court this morning because they did not immediately notify Nichols' defense attorney about his weekend arrest. Russell said he would be notifying the State Bar of Texas to investigate the conduct of Jason Parrish and Richard Vance.

 


TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A retired Tyler dentist on trial for murder since Wednesday is back in the Smith County jail.

Bobby Ray Nichols was arrested on Jan. 20 and is being held on a $3 million bond. He faces from five to 99 years in prison if he is convicted of the murder charge.

He had been free on bond after posting the required portion of his initial $750,000 bond, prior to being re-arrested. More details will be posted later.

 

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