Police: Shooter arrested in Christmas Eve murder

Gregory Dewayne Polley. Photo Source: Tyler Police Department
Gregory Dewayne Polley. Photo Source: Tyler Police Department

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV)- Police say they have arrested the shooter involved in the Christmas Eve murder.

26-year-old Gregory Polley is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of 15-year old Nicole Cartwright near a Tyler car wash.

According to the arrest affidavit, Polley confessed to police that he was the shooter, but said he did not intend to kill Cartwright.

Gregory Polley was initially arrested on a parole violation in Longview. But before Nicole Cartwright's mother even learned of the arrest, she says she already felt peace. She says her nephew, two-year-old La Kendrick, told her he saw an angel.

"He said come here, he said Nikki's here. She's asleep. He pushed her door open to her room...he said her head . He said she's here and I said oh, baby and that gave me joy. That gave me joy," said Cartwright.

Since her death, Gloria says he's clung to Nicole's picture. But she says the arrests of Gregory Polley and Adrian Blankenship, Jr. doesn't make letting go any easier.

"This brings closure to my family but it doesn't bring Nicole back to me," she said. "I'll never have my baby again. I'll never hear her walk down those steps. In my heart I hear her laughter. Oh, Nicole."

"I feel a little peaceful, not so much closure," said Ernestine Brown, Nicole's sister. "But I feel peaceful. Because he has a murder charge so it's going to be a while before he gets out."

Nicole's sister, Ernestine, recalls the argument that erupted on Christmas Eve.

"Next thing you know I hear shots being fired."

The rest, she says, is a blur.

"When the doctor came and pronounced her dead that just oh my goodness that really just hurted my heart when they pronounced her dead," said Ernestine.

Ernestine says she needs questions answered before she can move on.

"Why did you tell him to go get the gun? That's my question to both of them. Why did you do that? What was your purpose? Now, do you see what you've done? Now, look at your consequences," she said.

"I know this can't bring Nikki back. It'll never bring her back, but it will bring closure," said Cartwright.

Gregory Polley's bond has been set at $500,000. Police say the case is still under investigation.

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Released by The Tyler Police Department:

TYLER, TX - Tyler Police Investigators have identified and arrested the shooter involved in the Murder of Nicole Cartwright.

The suspect is identified as Gregory Dewayne Polley, B/M, 08/23/1984 of Longview, Texas.  Polley was taken into custody Tuesday night, January 4, 2011 by Longview Police for a parole violation.

Tyler Investigators obtained an arrest warrant last night for Polley issued by Judge Kennedy for 1st degree Murder.

Polley's bond was set at $500,000 dollars and he remains in Gregg County Jail.

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