Detective Hopes To Solve Cold Case Homicide
By KENNETH DEAN
Who killed Jerald Little?
That is the question Tyler Police Det. Gregg Roberts is trying to answer so he can bring closure to a family and put the killer behind bars.
Little was found dead on his aunt's living room floor at 1705 Lenora Ave. near Boulter Middle School about 1:30 p.m. on March 27, 2008.
Originally, family members reported the death as a possible suicide, but when Roberts and others arrived on the scene, they knew they had a homicide.
Roberts said Little had traveled to Tyler from Dallas to spend time with his family for a few days, and he had attended a barbecue the night before the killing.
Robert said Little had a gunshot wound to the back from a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun.
Little's cousin, Mitch Newton, said Little had spent the night at his home on Lenora Avenue the night before.
"I told him I was headed to work that next morning, and he was still sleeping on the couch. I went home about noon to get something, and I found the front door open," he said.
Newton said as he walked through the house, he was asking Little why he left the door open which allowed his dog to get out.
"I walked in the den, and I saw him covered in blood. I freaked out," he said.
Newton said his mother arrived home about the same time, and she called 911.
Roberts said a quick canvassing of the neighborhood proved fruitful when a nearby family having a yard sale was able to provide some details about possible suspects.
Roberts said the witnesses told authorities they saw two black men run from the residence and flee the area in a green four-door late-model car.
"They left so fast they backed all the way across the street and hit the curb before taking off," he said.
But since Little's body was discovered, police have had few leads in the case.
Roberts said Little was a father, and according to everyone they questioned, was a man who loved his child.
"The mother said if the child needed anything, Jerald would always come through," he said.
Roberts also said it was not uncommon for Little to drive to Tyler to stay a few days at his aunt's home.
Newton said he and his cousin would get together when Little came to town, but Little did his own thing.
"He was into trail rides and motorcycles, and things that I wasn't involved in. Sometimes he would just crash for a few hours, and then he was gone," he said.
Newton said Little had a great sense of humor and was always "making jokes."
Roberts said he believes someone knows who killed Little, and he hopes they will come forward with the information needed to solve the case.
Roberts would not give any details as to why he believed the homicide occurred, but did say, "No matter what it was over, no one deserves to be shot in the back."
Roberts said the case sits on his desk, and he is actively working the case with other detectives.
"Whoever did this should be concerned, because we are going to find them, and then we are coming for them," he said.
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to contact the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000 or the Tyler/Smith County Crimestoppers at 903-597-2833. There is a reward as much as $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the crime.