This Too Shall Pass
Prior to the pandemic, Texas courts averaged 186 jury trials per week. Jury trials have been suspended by the Supreme Court of Texas except for in limited cases assisted by OCA and the Regional Presiding Judges.
The Texas Supreme Court Extends General Emergency Order, Jury Trials Generally Prohibited Until April 1, 2021.
Currently in the Bell County Jail, 12 men and 1 woman are awaiting jury trials for Capital Murder in Bell County.
9 women and 31 men currently are awaiting trial on Murder charges.
*** To see a full list of names of men and women currently in Bell County Jail awaiting trial please view our new BC Jail Awaiting Trial page ***
June 29, 2014 an article came out from the Killeen Daily Herald news paper titled:
BELL COUNTY GRAPPLES WITH MULTIPLE CAPITAL MURDER CASES.
We thought it rather ironic that almost 7 years later Bell County continues to grapple with multiple capital murder cases. During that time there were 6 people charged with Capital Murder. We will list each individual with the sentence each received at trial.
2013 5 members of the Gangster Disciples were arrested for the 2012 Killeen home invasion and robbery of the owner of a club in Harker Heights, where Ricky Dewayne Brandon one of the gang members was shot in the chest by another GD member. Brandon was left in the front yard of the homeowner to die.
3 were charged with Capital Murder, all 5 men were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
1. Larry Donnel Boswell, Jr. who reportedly was the leader of the GD and initiated the invasion. Boswell was charged and was sentenced with Capital Murder he received Life Without Parole.
2. Kevin Lee Stafford, who reportedly held a high status with the GD was charged with Capital Murder, but charges were later reduced to Murder. Stafford is serving a 20 year sentence, his Parole Eligibility Date is 03/08/2023 his projected release date is 03/06/2033.
3. Fred Lee Williams II was charged with Capital Murder but charges were reduced to Murder. Williams is serving a 25 year sentence his Parole Eligibility Date is 09/05/2025, his projected release date is 03/06/2038.
Stephon Mitchell Lewis who later admitted to shooting Brandon during the home invasion was charged with Murder and sentenced to 25 years. Parole Eligibility Date is 09/17/2025 projected release date is 03/17/2038.
Daniel Lee Carruth was also arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. There is currently no record of Carruth within the Texas Prison System.
4. Christian Charlene Bohannon charged with Capital Murder for the brutal bludgeoning of a 80-year-old blind man Jack Ray on 10/12/2013. Bohannon’s charges were reduced to Murder, she was sentenced to 35 years. Bohannon will be eligible for parole 09/19/2031 projected release date is 03/19/2049.
Two of the six Capital Murder Cases District Attorney Garza was seeking the death penalty for:
5. David Gene Risner charged with Capital Murder for the 06/19/2014 shooting death of the Chief of Police at Little River-Academy Police Department. Chief Lee Dixon was shot and killed after responding to a call of a man with a gun at a home. Dixon went to the house alone to check out the call, and was shot in the face with a shot gun by Risner. In the early 2000’s Risner was a police officer in East Texas.
Risner was convicted of Capital Murder and is serving Life without the possibility of parole.
6. Marvin Guy charged with Capital Murder still remains in the Bell County Jail, has not yet gone to trial.
Marvin Guy is charged with Capital Murder and three counts of Attempted Capital Murder in connection with the May 9, 2014 shooting death of Detective Charles Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie and other SWAT officers were attempting to serve a “no-knock” search warrant when Guy allegedly shot Dinwiddie. Garza will prosecute this case and will seek the death penalty when ever it goes to trial.
Capital murder cases can be costly for the court system, but when the death penalty is involved can cost two to three times more than a murder trial and that cost is passed down to the tax payers in the county.
Our research shows one man is currently on death row for 2 double murders he committed in Killeen.
Richard Tabler was found guilty of the murders of Haitham Zayed and Mohamid-Amine Rahmouni on November 26, 2004. Tabler was also charged with the murders of Tiffany Lorraine Dotson,18 and Amanda Benefield,16 on November 28, 2004, Tabler did admit to the four murders and requested to be put to death.
Richard Tabler Inmate #999523 currently remains on Polunsky Death Row in Livingston, TX.
Assisting Tabler on his murder spree was 18 year old Army soldier Timothy Doan Payne. Payne admitted to videotaping part of the initial shooting and was charged and convicted of Capital Murder. Payne received a life sentence, but is somehow eligible for parole on 11/29/2044. (This is odd, due to the fact that if you are convicted of Capital Murder in Texas you either get Life Without Parole or Death).
Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza has the responsibility of making the decision to seek the death penalty when a Capital Murder Charge has been made.
There are currently 14 individuals in Bell County Jail charged with Capital Murder only one with the death penalty, that is Marvin Guy who has been waiting for over 6 years to go to trial.
Statistics show that death row cases have dropped by 75 percent in the past 10 years, it seems highly unlikely that the death penalty will be a factor in the majority of the Capital Murder Cases currently in Bell County.
We have begun to track Capital Murder and Murder cases in Bell County, the information will include the judge, defense attorney, assistant district attorney (ADA), and sentence.
How many of the 14 people indicted for Capital Murder will actually be convicted of Capital Murder? How many of the 40 + people indicted for Murder will actually be convicted of murder and will serve more than 20 years for taking the life of another human? We hope to follow each trial and sentence.
As the courts gradually reopen and jury trials will once again begin, some will be offered plea deals. This will save the courts a lot of money, but at what cost?
The families of the victims have no say on what deals the District Attorney’s office offer the murderer of their loved one, we have to accept the gross injustice of a system more concerned with the cost of a jury trial, than they are with families that are forced to accept their decisions. Once the felon is convicted, they only have to serve half of the time they are sentenced with before they are eligible for parole.
NO murder victim was ever given a choice!