Prosecutors say they have obtained new evidence against a Royse City woman, who previously had been indicted on one count of murder in connection with the 2016 shooting death of her husband.
Chacey Tyler Poynter is now charged with capital murder.
The new indictment was filed last week and alleges Chacey Poynter and Michael Glen Garza killed Robert Louis Poynter III, a University Park Fire Department captain, for the victim’s money.
Chacey Poynter will not receive death by lethal injection if convicted of capital murder, as Hunt County District Attorney Noble D. Walker Jr. has waived the death penalty as a potential punishment in the case.
The defendant is now facing a sentence of life in prison without the penalty of parole if convicted of capital murder.
The capital murder indictment was issued sealed April 26 by the Hunt County and was made public during a Wednesday afternoon hearing in the 354th District Court. The previous murder indictment was dismissed.
In a statement issued Thursday, Walker said the higher level charge was sought after his office learned of additional evidence not previously submitted by law enforcement.
“The State re-presented the case to the grand jury with the additional evidence and the defendant has been indicted for the offense of capital murder for remuneration which is for financial gain or benefit,” Walker said.
The capital murder indictment alleges Chacey Poynter and Garza shot and killed Robert Poynter with a shotgun on Sept. 9, 2016 “for remuneration, namely: money and financial assets and benefits owned or controlled by the victim.”
Walker told the Herald-Banner he still anticipates proceeding with the current trial date of June 17.
Garza, of Quinlan, was found guilty by a jury following a two-week trial in July 2018 on a charge of murder and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. An appeal of his conviction is currently pending before the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas.
Prosecutors have previously alleged Chacey Poynter and Garza were involved in an affair and acted together in the shooting death of Robert Poynter on Sept. 9, 2016 in Royse City.
Royse City Police Department officers were dispatched at around 10:45 p.m. on that night to an area on FM 35 near Hunt County Road 2595 regarding a woman in the roadway attempting to stop vehicles.
Officers spoke with Chacey Poynter, who was reported to have said her husband had been shot and was in a vehicle located along the county road. Officers placed Chacey Poynter into a police unit and went to investigate and found Robert Poynter in the vehicle deceased with a single shotgun blast to the head.
The next day officers interviewed Chacey Poynter for some nine hours, later finding a link to a photo from Garza’s Facebook page on her cell phone which resulted in the issuance of a probable cause affidavit for Garza’s arrest two days later.
Defense counsel Scott Cornuaud had filed a motion with the 354th District Court April 15, seeking to suppress all oral statements made by Chacey Poynter while she was in the custody of law enforcement officers.
District Judge Keli Aiken took the motion under advisement following an April 24 hearing, then issued her decision to deny the motion April 26.
Two of Garza’s fellow truckers, including a lifelong friend, told investigators Garza offered them details of what he did before, during and after the murder.
Cornuaud could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Poynter, 32, remains in custody at the Hunt County Detention Center, being held in lieu of $500,000 bond on the capital murder charge.