BREAKING NEWS: James Bray found Guilty of Murder - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/15/03 - Lufkin

BREAKING NEWS: James Bray found Guilty of Murder

A jury  has found 37-year-old James Allen Bray guilty of murder in the shooting death of 31-year-old Byron Myers outside a Diboll housing complex last September.

The victim's mother, Mary Jo Myers, was the first person to take the stand this week. She became very emotional as she held up pictures of her son.

Diboll Police officer Ramiro Dejesus, who was the first officer to respond to the scene, testified that he found Bray standing over Myers' body when he arrived. Dejesus said Myers was alive but gasping for air.

Dejesus also said when he arrested Bray, Bray told him that Myers had shot at him first.

Testimony continued Tuesday, August 13.

Investigators say the murder of Byron Myers may have stemmed from an argument outside the Congo Club in Lufkin. Nyoka Shankle was working at the club the Thursday night before Myers was shot to death on Sunday, September 8, 2002.

Shankle testified that an argument broke out between Bray and a group of his friends and Myers and some of his companions. Shankle said the argument began in the club and then escalated into a fist fight outside the club. According to Shankle, sometime during the fight, Byron Myers went to his vehicle, pulled a gun, and fired several shots into the air, which brought the fight to an end.

When questioned by Bray's defense attorney, John Heath, Shankle appeared to be confused about what she saw that night. She also admitted that she did not report what she witnessed to police, but Shankle did say she believes the fight at the nightclub is what led to another deadly incident between Myers and Bray, two nights later.

We will have more on this story on the East Texas News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00.

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