In Houston Texas Wednesday, grisly details emerge in trial of man accused in the death of a Texas A and M Student.
Powerful opening statements were delivered Wednesday in the murder trial of a Houston man accused of killing and dismembering his ex-girlfriend, grilling her remains and throwing them in a dumpster.
Prosecutors allege Timothy Shepherd killed Tynesha Stewart, a freshman at Texas A&M, last year when she was home for spring break.
Prosecutor Marie Primm methodically laid out the grisly details of her case.
“The man sitting right over there tried to rid the world of Tynesha Stewart,” Primm said.
Primm told jurors that Shepherd killed Stewart in a fit of jealous rage at his northeast Houston apartment, then cut up her remains and burned her body on his patio grills.
“Constant barbecuing on his pit. He had two pits on his patio. Constant barbecuing,” Primm said.
It was a tough moment in the courtroom. Stewart’s mother began to cry, but Shepherd just sat silently.
His attorneys urged the jury to keep an open mind.
“You will be able to return only one verdict under the law, and that is the just verdict of not guilty,” defense attorney Chip Lewis said.
Stewart was only 19 when she vanished. She was last seen alive at Shepherd’s apartment complex.
Police considered Shepherd a suspect from the start, and community activist Quanell X was called in to help.
Authorities say Shepherd told Quanell X he murdered Stewart and led him to a dumpster where he supposedly disposed of her burned, dismembered body.
A body was never found, but detectives did find Stewart’s teeth in a garbage disposal at Shepherd’s apartment.
A stream of witnesses – most of them friends and classmates of Stewart – painted a portrait of a controlling and insecure man. They said Shepherd constantly called the campus looking for Stewart and that he threatened to kill her after learning she was dating another man.
“It was pretty much a classic domestic violence situation,” Primm said.
But Shepherd’s defense said it was hardly a one-sided relationship.
“Tynesha was very much in love with Tim. She pursued the relationship, and he reciprocated,” Lewis said.
Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.
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