Gilmer capital murder suspect seeks to have bond reduced

Published on Monday, 23 December 2013 11:46 - Written by BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS, Special Correspondent

GILMER -- A Jan. 7 hearing is scheduled on capital murder suspect Jonathan Ray Shepherd's request to lower his $1 million bond to $250,000, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said Monday.

Byrd said he "will be adamantly opposing" Shepherd's request to 115th District Court Judge Lauren Parish, filed by Arlington attorney Gerald J. Smith Sr. The hearing, open to the public at the Upshur County Justice Center, is set for 1:30 p.m.

Shepherd, 32, of Gilmer, is charged with shooting 29-year-old Cheyenne Green of Gilmer in the parking lot of Gilmer High School the night of Sept. 26 during a junior high football game at nearby Buckeye Stadium.

Court records indicate the shooting occurred in the presence of their then-18-month-old son. Shepherd, who had reportedly been involved in a custody battle with Ms. Green, had reportedly been sitting with his estranged wife at the football game and had agreed to take the child to Ms. Green at halftime.

The victim was shot three times, according to Gilmer police Investigator Roxanne Warren.

Shepherd, who turned himself in within hours after the incident, remains in Upshur County Jail at Gilmer. Byrd has not announced whether he will seek the death penalty in the case.

Under Texas law, capital murder is punishable only by lethal injection or life imprisonment without parole.

Shepherd, originally charged with murder, withdrew his first request to reduce his bond at an Oct. 10 hearing after the charge against him was upgraded to capital murder.

Byrd has said the charge was raised because Shepherd is accused of killing Ms. Green while kidnapping or attempting to kidnap her. Under state law, a person can be convicted of capital murder if he/she kills someone in the course of committing another felony.