Arrest affidavit details Thanksgiving night death of Tyler man - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Arrest affidavit details Thanksgiving night death of Tyler man

Justin Staples. Photo from Smith County Jail Justin Staples. Photo from Smith County Jail
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The arrest warrant affidavit reveals more about the Thanksgiving night death of an East Texas man.

Justin Wayne Staples is in the Smith County Jail on manslaughter and drug possession charges. According the arrest warrant affidavit, Staples told authorities he was drunk when he backed over his friend, Chad Davis, with his truck.

In an interview with Tyler Police Department Detective Kenneth Gardner, Staples said, "If you're telling me that I hit him, then I'm sure I did man. I don't know."

The affidavit states Staples admitted several times that he was drunk. During the interview, detective Gardner noticed Staples was very upset and repeatedly asked how Chad was doing.

The affidavit reveals that earlier in the day, Staples and Davis had been drinking at Hwy 31 Sports Bar. Then, they left to buy more beer before heading to the woods.

The day after Thanksgiving, Staples and the detectives went back to the scene to walk Tyler Police through what had happened that night. Detective Gardner stated in the affidavit that, "the way [Staples] explained what happened matched everything at the scene."


The affidavit says, according to the autopsy, Davis died from extensive internal injuries including broken ribs and a broken arm. Detective Gardner stated that Davis' injures were consistent with someone who had been run over by a vehicle.

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