Capital Murder Trial Begins - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/13/06 - Nacogdoches

Capital Murder Trial Begins

by Donna McCollum

Several witnesses recalled that Colton Wier told them about his plans to kill the Cushing truck driver. He was 16 at the time, but is standing trial this week as an adult for the capital murder of James Kelly. The story was Wier would receive for the deadly deed $10,000, a jet ski, pickups, and a four-wheeler from Kelly's wife, Marcia. She's now in prison serving a life sentence with no parole.

No one took Wier seriously, including his uncle, Jimmy Mings. He testified on the trial's opening day. In an earlier television interview, Mings spoke of his nephew's troubles. "He just got to where he -- after his dad died, he wouldn't mind nobody. He acted like he didn't care no more," said Mings.

Wier's defense attorney, Bill Agnew, wants to convince jurors that Wier is the fall guy. Mings and a cousin testified Wier is mentally slow and easily influenced by others. Agnew wants to show that Dallas Christian and his girlfriend, Shaina Sepulvado, the stepdaughter of James Kelly, were the ring leaders, and not Wier. A friend of the teen's testified he heard Shaina say, "It would all be on Colton if it happened".

District Attorney Stephanie Stephens reminds jurors the teen is on trial as a competent adult who knows right from wrong. In an earlier interview, Stephens said, "I don't believe there's enough in place to handle somebody that's committed a crime of this magnitude."

Wier's mother, Julia Smith, waited outside the courtroom. She's a witness and not privileged to hearing the testimony, but listening to every word is Francis Bone, James Kelly's mother. She and other family members have attended every hearing and court date for each of the four defendants.

Marcia Kelly is serving a life sentence after a capital murder conviction in August. A trial for her teenage daughter Shaina, who was 16 at the time of the murder, is scheduled for next year. Dallas Christian, 23, was declared incompetent to stand trial and is in a state mental hospital. Wier's trial could wrap up by the middle of the week. Testimony is going fast. A total of 15 witnesses testified on the trial's first day.    

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