School official gives candid account of John Tyler stabbing

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It was an unexpected and very candid account of what went on inside John Tyler High School the morning special education teacher, Todd Henry was stabbed.

In an interview with his hometown newspaper, John Tyler Assistant Principal Winston McCowan, Jr. told the Mt. Pleasant Daily Tribune he was beside Byron Truvia just moments before Wednesday's fatal stabbing of Mr. Henry.

Truvia still sits inside the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center.

Mr. McCowan told the Mt. Pleasant Tribune that Truvia, "seemed fine", and that he, "always kept to himself."

He revealed, firsthand, more about the student accused of the crime, and what may have been done to prevent it.

It happened around 9 o'clock that morning.

McCowan told the Tribune he was walking down the hall when someone screamed, "My God...he stabbed him."

McCowan says, "It could have been any one of us...I didn't see any weapon on him...I guess the knife was in his pockets."

Right before the stabbing, Assistant Principal McCowan says there was a disturbance in the cafeteria.

He says that's where he saw Truvia earlier that morning.

He told the paper, "I knew he didn't like a lot of disturbance. And, I told him to get out of the way if they came toward him. I wanted to calm him."

TISD officials say the stabbing was unprovoked, that it came without warning.

The following day, we learned from family members Truvia served two years for beating one of his siblings - that he'd suffered from depression and anxiety.

McCowan told the paper, "We never had any recollection that he was previously violent."

He went on to say, "We never want to put them at a disadvantage either way. But, if they can't function in a normal setting, we should put them somewhere they can function."

Of course, we tried to speak with TISD officials, Mt. McCowan and John Tyler Principal Dr. Carol Saxenian. But, by the time we went to air with this story, none of our emails, or phone calls were returned.

Truvia's attorney says he's waiting to see what the DA's office does. That will determine where the case goes.

Prosecutors still have about three weeks to file a petition, officially letting the court know what charges it intends to pursue.

It still may be a while before we know if this young man stands trial as an adult, or a juvenile.

Click here to read The Daily Tribune's story.

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