A Smith County jury deliberated less than two hours before reaching a guilty verdict in a 2013 murder case that detailed the violent history between Christopher Shane Wiley and his former partner, 52-year-old Ronald Walker.
The jury heard three days of testimony in the case before reaching a verdict about 5 p.m. Thursday.
As he stood to hear the verdict read by Judge Jack Skeen Jr., the 39-year-old Wiley showed no emotion as the judge declared the jury had found him guilty.
Smith County Assistant District Attorneys Kenneth Biggs and Lucas Machicek tried the case for the state, and the defense team included Donald Davidson and Clifton Roberson, which saw multiple witnesses describing the decade-long relationship between Wiley and Walker.
In 2011, Walker attacked Wiley with a hammer, breaking his leg and severely injuring him. Walker entered a guilty plea, and he was placed on probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Prosecutors did not downplay the turbulent relationship, but maintained that on the night of July 1, 2013, Wiley shot his partner once in the arm as he lay on his bed and then again in the head as he stood over the cowering victim.
“This was not self
defense. This was
murder,” Biggs said during
Police detailed how they found the home in the 300 block of First Street in Tyler on July 1, 2013, and the prosecution played a taped interview of Wiley in his hospital room two days later in which Wiley said he did not know he had shot and killed Walker.
However, prosecutors stated Wiley’s mother called 911 stating she believed her son had killed his partner.
Wiley was hospitalized for several days with alcohol poisoning.
Skeen has set the punishment phase of the trial to begin at 9 a.m. today in the 241st court.