TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Tyler County grand jury has indicted a 47-year-old Bridge City woman and a 36-year-old Orange man who were arrested on first-degree felony murder charges in connection to the death of Joe Kelvin Brown, who was found dead in the rubble of a burned home back in March.
When the Tyler County grand jury met on Wednesday, they indicted Angela "Angie" Coats on three felony charges - murder, arson, and tampering with physical evidence. She had been in the Tyler County Jail until she posted a bail amount of $250,000 on May 6 and was released.
Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford said in a press release that Coats turned herself into authorities on May 24. Collectively, the bail amount has been set at $600,000 for her three felony charges.
The grand jury also indicted Bruce Lee Chance for murder - enhanced repeat/habitual felony offender, arson, and tampering with physical evidence. Chance is still being held in the Tyler County Jail, and his collective bail amount has also been set at $600,000.
The murder warrant the Tyler County Sheriff's Office released on March 17 identified the victim as Joe Kelvin Brown. An obituary for Brown which appeared on the Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home web page said he was 51, and he had a Woodville address.
Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested Angela Coats, 47, of Bridge City, on a murder warrant on March 9 in connection to Brown's murder. Bruce Lee Chance, 37, of Orange, was arrested on March 8 on a capital murder charge in connection the same investigation.
According to the murder arrest warrant for Chance, TCSO deputies responded to a structure fire at 334 County Road 4180 at about 5:34 p.m. on March 5 after human remains were found at the scene.
During the investigation, a neighbor reported seeing a dark-colored SUV parked next to the residence, the affidavit stated. The witness also allegedly saw a dark-haired woman leave the home, get into the SUV, and leave toward the highway.
"The neighbor also stated he observed a male in a brown hoodie leave the residence on foot in the same direction in which the vehicle left just as the neighbor observed a fire in the residence," the affidavit stated.
Coats went to the Tyler County Sheriff's Office on March 6 and told deputies that she had witnessed a murder, the affidavit stated. She allegedly told authorities that Brown had been stalking her, and identified Chance, her boyfriend, as the one who shot Brown and set the house on fire.
The affidavit stated Coats told TCSO deputies that she drove Chance to Brown's home with the intent to "get closure with Brown."
Coats allegedly said Chance asked Brown, "Are you ready for your closure?" She said after Brown said he was, Chance pulled out a handgun and shot Brown in the chest, the affidavit stated. After Brown fell to the ground, Chance fired again, striking Brown in the head.
Chance then told Coats to go back to the vehicle, which is when the neighbor saw a dark-haired woman leave the home and get into a dark-colored SUV, the affidavit stated. Coats told authorities that she drives a black Jeep, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, Coats told authorities that Chance left the house on foot and started walking down the road. At that time, Chance was allegedly wearing a camouflage jacket with a hood.
The preliminary autopsy report indicates that Brown was "shot in the head with a medium-caliber firearm and has injuries consistent with a gunshot wound through the left rib cage," the affidavit stated.
In addition, the autopsy report shows there was no soot present in Brown's airway, which indicates Brown was dead before the fire occurred.
After TCSO deputies arrested Chance, he confessed to being at Brown's house, but he claimed Coats is the one who pulled the gun and shot Brown, the affidavit stated.
Chance has a prior criminal history and was last released from prison in 2012.