GILMER -- The jury in the murder trial of Glenn Wade Myers, Jr. found him guilty of shooting his sister this afternoon.
Myers, 55, of Big Sandy, was charged with killing 52-year-old Cindy Espinoza outside her home on Nutmeg Road near Big Sandy last July 2. Testimony established the victim was shot in the mouth with a .410-gauge shotgun, and that her brother lived on the same property she did.
The jury deliberated 4 ½ hours before reaching the verdict. Now the testimony in the punishment phase is underway.
Key prosecution testimony came Monday from the victim's daughter-in-law, Nochell White, who said she heard a gunshot while inside a home on the Espinoza family property. Ms. White said she looked out a window and saw Myers, who walks with a limp, "hobbling" at a fast pace with a gun in hand.
Myers became emotional at times during more than 40 minutes on the witness stand Tuesday morning. On the day of the shooting, he said, he tried to kill a snake with a "piece of long skinny wood," but it got away.
When his attorney, Tim Cone, asked, "Glenn, did you kill her (the victim)?," the defendant replied, "No, sir, I did not." Myers also said he had never seen the shotgun introduced into evidence in the case, and that he had no access to any gun except a toy gun on the day of the crime.
In closing arguments to the jury, Cone assailed the the investigation of the case by the Upshur County Sheriff's Office as "flat, lazy, sloppy work." Among other criticisms, he said the office never looked at anyone except Myers as a suspect and that it failed to look for fingerprints.
But Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd pointed to scientific evidence that Myers had a small spot of Ms. Espinoza's blood on the back of his shirt. And the lead prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Edward Choy, told jurors "all the evidence pointed to Glenn Myers," including eyewitness testimony.