A Nacogdoches woman avoided a life sentence Thursday, by pleading guilty to killing a man in April, accepting a 39-year prison sentence.
Erin Leann Belz, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in District Judge Ed Klein's court. She had originally been charged with capital murder. Had she been convicted of that, she would have been sentenced to life without parole.
Belz was arrested along with Randy Lee Ellinwood, 32, in April after being
connected to the murder of Gilbert Thibodeaux Jr., 32, of Nacogdoches.
Nacogdoches Police arrested the pair after
finding the body of Thibodeaux in the back of a pickup at Walgreen's on
April 9. Police connected them to the truck and arrested them at a
residence in the 300 block of Myrtle Street.
Officers were called the night of April 9 to a
suspicious person call at Nacogdoches Floral Company on North Street.
The caller said a man and woman were seen dumping something in a
dumpster of the business and leaving in a pickup truck. Officers found
items with blood on them and began searching for the suspect truck.
According to Sgt. Greg Sowell, it appears Thibodeaux knew the two and went to the Myrtle Street address, where he was assaulted.
Friday, May 24 2013 10:21 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:21:23 GMT
From the Tyler Police Department:At approximately 5:20Pm on May 24, 2013, Tyler Police were notified of the motorcycle accident at Grande and Sutherland. The driver of a black Ford F-150 was heading east onMore >>
Rider was not wearing a helmet when she collided with a truck.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 9:18 AM EDT2013-05-25 13:18:01 GMT
Cherokee County authorities are investigating a fatal house fire Friday night. It happened just before 7:30 on County Road 3302 outside of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Fire Department, Cherokee CountyMore >>
Happened just outside of Jacksonville on Friday night.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:59:21 GMT
A Tyler ISD bus driver was arrested Friday afternoon on drug charges.Ronald Gain, 44, of Tyler, was arrested by the Tyler Police Department on one charge of possession of a controlled substance. TylerMore >>
Has worked for the district since August of 2012.More >>