Center Police make arrest on 16-year-old murders

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - The Center Police Department made an arrest on a 16-year-old double homicide on Friday.

According to a press release issued by Det. Joey Haley, Darran Wayne O'Neal, 45, of Gilmer was arrested and charged in the deaths of Effrem O'Neal and J.W. Hewitt.

The deaths occurred in February 1993 on Garrett Street in Center. Haley said it was the result of a dispute over Darran O'Neal's wife. Darran O' Neal and Effrem O'Neal were brothers.

Haley said Hewitt was simply in the "wrong place at the wrong time."

Haley said the investigation "wasn't easy."

"I started over from scratch," he said. "I had to fully rebuild the case over the course of the year. It took a lot of time and man hours.

"Witnesses weren't interviewed properly when it happened," Haley said. "The investigator died after it happened, which didn't help."

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