Calvin Rayford

A Rowlett man has been sentenced to the maximum punishment after pleading guilty in connection with the February 2019 homicides of two people in Royse City.

Calvin Earl Rayford, 20, had previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of capital murder of multiple persons, but offered the open plea of guilty in August 2020 to a reduced charge of manslaughter and agreed to testify against Dearis Rayvone Davis of Arlington, who is charged with capital murder in the case.

An open plea means no plea bargain agreement has been arranged in the case and that Rayford is subject to the full range of punishment.

Sentencing was conducted Thursday and Friday in the 354th District Court.

Following the conclusion of the punishment hearing, Judge Keli Aiken sentenced Rayford to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division and added a $10,000 fine, the maximum for the second degree felony.

The Hunt County grand jury returned the indictments in August 2019 against Rayford and Davis.

Davis, 29, is currently set for jury selection on the capital murder charge on August 23.

Both had pleaded not guilty to the capital murder indictment involving the deaths of Courtland Trowell-Wilmore and a juvenile male whose identity is being kept confidential.

Davis and Rayford are each being held in the Hunt County Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bond.

Both were taken into custody May 29, 2019.

The Royse City Police Department reported it had found two people dead in the Woodland Creek subdivision during the early hours of Feb. 3, 2019.

One of the two victims was a high school student at the time of his death, and the other was a former student.

The Hunt County District Attorney’s Office had waived the death penalty as a potential punishment should either of the defendants be found guilty of capital murder. Davis is now facing life without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of the charge.

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