Breaking News
More () »

Southeast Texas's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Southeast Texas, Texas | 12NEWSNOW.com

Trial begins for suspect in 2016 stabbing death of Orange County man

Felix Guillory Jr., 52, of Orange, is charged with the murder of 39-year-old Shane Cooper.

ORANGE, Texas — It was a long day of testimony at the Orange County Courthouse Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of stabbing and killing a 39-year-old back in 2016. 

Felix Guillory Jr., 52, of Orange, is charged with the murder of 39-year-old Shane Cooper. 

The trial began in Orange County's 128th District Court, before Judge Courtney Arkeen. 

DNA testing led to Guillory's indictment for the murder in 2017. Police found Cooper's body in the 500 block of North Street, in the Brownwood addition of Orange. 

Guillory was indicted by a grand jury. Investigators say he said they believe he intentionally caused Cooper's death by cutting and stabbing him with a knife or other sharp instrument. 

RELATED: Man indicted in 2016 stabbing death of Orange man

Wednesday, the person who performed Cooper's autopsy testified that he died of multiple stab wounds. He found at least 28 cutting or stab wounds on Cooper's head, face, chest, back, arms, hands and neck. The stab to his neck severed his carotid artery. 

He also testified Cooper had a bite mark on his back. The toxicology report revealed cooper had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system. 

He testified that Cooper's death was ruled a homicide. A single edge knife was used, but he was not sure if it was the same knife or multiple. Graphic photos of Cooper's wounds were displayed for the jury. 

Guillory's lawyer filed a motion for Judge Arkeen to reconsider her ruling to allow Guillory's initial questioning. The jury was dismissed for the suppression hearing.

A detective testified that he went to Guillory's mom's house, where Guillory lived, looking for him. 

At that time he was a person of interest in Cooper's murder. He said Guillory was not under arrest at that time, and willingly came with them for questioning. Guillory did not have a car. He wasn't read his Miranda rights, because he was not being apprehended. 

He testified that Guillory was free to leave at any time, and that Guillory also willingly gave the officers his shoes. 

A short clip of Guillory's interview was played, where the prosecutor pointed out he, at one time, reached for the door, and knew he could leave if he wanted to. Judge Arkeen denied his motion to suppress the video, because Guillory was never under arrest. 

The jury was brought back in for the remainder of the detective's testimony.

He shared that when he went to Guillory's moms house looking for him, he was accompanied by another detective. He noticed Guillory had cuts on his nose, upper eye, pinky finger, and a puncture wound on his chest. He testified that all of these cuts were on Guillory's right side, which was significant because Cooper was right handed. He took photos of the wounds, which were also admitted into evidence. 

A video of Guillory's questioning was shown. He and another investigator were there with Guillory. 

Guillory was offered water, and the detective testified that DNA evidence was taken from the water bottle. 

While being questioned, Guillory said he and Cooper were very close, like brothers, and never fought.

He said the night Cooper died the two were hanging out with a couple of other people. He mentioned an argument about a cell phone. Guillory maintained that he and Cooper did not fight that night, and that he didn't know what happened to him. Guillory would not tell the officers how he was injured, or who he was fighting with at the time. 

The detective testified that Cooper's phone went missing. They later learned that it was stolen by another man who was with Guillory and Cooper at some point on the night he died. The man sold the phone, and it was found. The detective said they interviewed the man who stole it, and the man was highly intoxicated at the time. He testified that his view of what happened that night did not change following the interview with the man who stole the phone. 

The detective also said that he didn't believe the man was present at the time Cooper died. He said it happened in a very short window of time and testified that Guillory's shoes held no evidentiary value. 

He testified that Guillory's shoes held no evidentiary value, and that he couldn't be sure how Guillory acquired the cuts he had, because he wasn't there at the time. 

Cooper's wife was the next to take the stand. She said they were married eight years, and had moved in with friends after being displaced from Harvey. She testified that neither she, nor Cooper had a traditional job, and that he provided by buying and selling things and other odd jobs. She also testified that he sold drugs.

The day Cooper died, she said he was supposed to help some friends move. She did not see him much that night. She last saw him at around 11:45 p.m., when he came by to check on her then went back out in his Chevy Blazer. Pictures of the vehicle were shown. 

When she didn't hear from him again, she got worried. She tried to call him at 3 a.m., and called multiple times after that. At one point, someone called her phone looking for Cooper, using his cell phone. She said she recognized the voice as the same man who the detective testified stole Cooper's cell phone. 

She testified that she knew who Cooper's friends were, and most of the people he interacted with and sold drugs too. She shared that Guillory was not a close friend to him. They showed multiple photos of she and Cooper, his and her kids, his parents, and the ring he wore as his wedding band. 

She testified that drugs came into their lives about a year prior to Cooper's death. The drug of choice was methamphetamine. She said neither of their kids lived with them at the time. 

A law enforcement officer came to the house she was staying at the night Cooper died. They were staying with another couple. She testified that the officer asked for the man, and she went to get him. Before she made it back with him, the officer had used a sledge hammer to enter the home and took all four of them to the police station. 

She said that she eventually gave two written statements, and that officers would take notes in her other encounters with them. She shared that another man, not Guillory or the man who stole Cooper's phone, had beef with Cooper. She said it might have been over drugs, but she's not sure. No one else wanted to hurt Cooper that she knew of. She testified that she had not been using drugs that night. 

Another friend of Cooper's also testified. He said that he knew Cooper very well, and had interacted with Guillory in the past. 

He testified that Cooper and Guillory came to his house in the Chevy the night Cooper was killed, at around 1:15-1:30 a.m.. He said he didn't want to go to the door, because last time Guillory came to his house, he was there to collect a debt he owed someone, and he roughed him up. 

Guillory promised the friend that he wouldn't hurt him, so he let them in. He testified that they stayed 20-30 minutes. He said Guillory was acting calm, but that Cooper came off uneasy. Cooper offered the friend money to ride with him somewhere, and asked him multiple times. The friend didn't go, and Cooper left with Guillory. 

He testified that the friend, who stole Cooper's phone, was also one of his friends. He showed up to his house after Cooper and Guillory left, and asked him to sell Cooper's phone. The friend said he bought the phone back for Cooper, but the man stole it again before he left. He testified that the two "got high," until daylight, and the man left at around 5 or 6 a.m. that morning. 

He testified that Cooper was a good man, a good friend, and that he missed him. 

Testimony will continue Thursday morning at 9 a.m.