Arrest made in stabbing death of Huntington man

By Jena Johnson - email

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - The man responsible for the brutal death of a Huntington man was  arrested and taken into custody Wednesday night.  According to Angelina County Sheriff Kent Henson, Thomas Hugh Fielder Jr., 39, is charged for the murder of Gary DeFratus, 47.

Fielder was apprehended in Quitman, Texas, in Wood County, around 9 p.m. Wednesday. He will be transported to Angelina county jail by late Wednesday night.

Henson said they're investigating a motive in the gruesome stabbing. Henson called the death of a Huntington man a "brutal and heinous crime."

Henson said Gary Lynn Defratus, 47, had been stabbed in the face and back multiple times before he died under his mother's carport Monday afternoon.

Henson said his mother found the body in her carport at around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Sheriff's deputies and the Texas Ranger's office have spent Tuesday investigating the death, and have come up with leads and possible suspects, but have made no arrests.

"Hopefully within the next 24 to 48 hours we'll have it cleaned up we've got some real good leads that we're working on right now," Henson said.

State records confirmed Defratus was a registered sex offender. However, Henson said his status as a sex offender did not appear to be a motive in the death.

Neighbor Joan Morton said Defratus' past did not change his character.

"I know there's a lot of people that have bad feelings about all this because of what he was, but he paid his time and still had a heart and had a soul and he was always like I said nice to me," Morton said.

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