UPDATES ON MS. TYNESHA STEWART

The trial of Timothy Wayne Shepherd, who murdered, dismembered and burned the body of Ms. Tynesha Stewart, began Monday, September 29, 2008.
Because of lack of evidence (the police were never able to find Ms. Stewart’s remains), convicting Shepherd will be difficult for the Harris County prosecutor. In addition to murdering and defiling Ms. Stewart, Shepherd also committed kidnapping, which combined with her murder, would have given him the death penalty.
Since this has not been deemed a capital murder case, if convicted, the most Shepherd will face is life in prison.
But, we will have to see what verdict the seated jury renders.
Here are the latest updates on Ms. Tynesha Stewart.
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TRIAL STARTS FOR MAN ACCUSED OF MURDERING GIRLFRIEND
05:55 PM CDT on Monday, September 29, 2008
By Rucks Russell / 11 News
Once those jurors are selected, the details they will learn may haunt them forever.
Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.
It would also help that the media ceases its describing Ms. Stewart’s death as a “grilling”.
This young woman was a human being who had a full life of promise before her. She is not, and was not, some piece of meat. She deserves to be treated with respect, not callous disregard.
“Once those jurors are selected, the details they will learn may haunt them forever.”
Very true.
To have to hear and see the evidence of Ms. Stewart’s horrific death will certainly mark them for life.
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QUANELL X: SHEPHERD SHOWED NO REMORSE FOR SLAIN AGGIE CO-ED
05:39 PM CDT on Friday, Octobr 3, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

But Shepherd’s attorneys said it was hardly a one-sided relationship.
“Tynesha was very much in love with Tim. She pursued the relationship, and he reciprocated,” Lewis said Wednesday.
Because a body was never found, the defense is hoping for an acquittal.
Still, even though Stewart’s remains were not recovered, investigators found her teeth in the garbage disposal at Shepherd’s apartment.
“Tim never showed any remorse for Tynesha,” Quanell said.
Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.

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CRIME SCENE DEPUTY TESTIFIES IN TRIAL OF MAN ACCUSED OF MURDERING EX-GIRLFRIEND
06:41 PM CDT on Monday, October 6, 2008

KHOU.com staff report

HOUSTON — A crime scene deputy took the stand Monday morning in the murder trial of Timothy Shepherd.

Shepherd is accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, dismembering her body, burning her remains on his patio grills and throwing them in a dumpster last spring.

Last week, Quanell X told the jury Shepherd admitted to the slaying.

Still, Stewart’s body was never found.  Since there was no body, the defense is hoping for an acquittal.

But prosecutors will likely use the deputy’s testimony to dispute that.  Investigators reportedly found Stewart’s teeth in Shepherd’s garbage disposal, among other grisly evidence.

Prosecutors reportedly have three or four more witnesses to go before turning things over to the defense.

Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.

SOURCE:  http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081006_tnt_shepherd_trial_latest.e81c8939.html

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MOTHER TESTIFIES IN AGGIE CO-ED MURDER TRIAL

09:23 AM CDT on Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

Quanell said Shepherd showed no remorse for Stewart’s death.

But defense attorneys said the activist’s testimony actually helped their case.

“It clearly illustrated law enforcement’s repeated refusal to honor Mr. Shepherd’s request for a lawyer to be present,” defense attorney Chip Lewis said.

According to Lewis, that makes whatever Shepherd said to Quanell X almost irrelevant.

Closing arguments were set to begin Wednesday morning.

Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.

SOURCE:   http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081007_tnt_tynesha_stewart_mother.ee351bb5.html

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HAUNTING CLOSING ARGUMENTS DELIVERED IN AGGIE CO-ED MURDER

06:23 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

He said Shepherd told him Stewart was dead, and he had thrown her remains in a dumpster.

“Tim never showed any remorse for Tynesha,” the activist said.

But defense attorneys said Quanell X’s testimony actually helped their case.

“It clearly illustrated law enforcement’s repeated refusal to honor Mr. Shepherd’s request for a lawyer to be present,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, that made whatever Shepherd said to Quanell X almost irrelevant.

Other evidence presented to the jury included Stewart’s teeth and possible bone fragments in Shepherd’s garbage disposal.

Lewis told the jury the evidence simply does not add up, and the only just verdict is not guilty.

Shepherd could face life in prison if convicted.

SOURCE:   http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081008_tnt_stewart_shepherd_trial.f234289b.html

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TIMOTHY WAYNE SHEPHERD COMMITTED GRUESOME MURDER, BUT WON’T FACE DEATH PENALTY

11:04 PM CDT on Thursday, October 9, 2008

By Wendell Edwards / 11 News

HOUSTON—Tim Shepherd is a convicted murderer found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend, dismembering her body and burning it on his patio grills.

But despite his conviction, despite what he did, Shepherd cannot die for taking the life of 19-year-old Tynesha Stewart.

“As sad and as tragic as it is, most of the offensive things, outside of the actual murder itself, happened to the body after the fact,” 11 News legal expert Gerald Treece said.

Shepherd is not eligible for the death penalty because state law doesn’t take into account how heinous or gruesome a crime was.

“In Texas, the death penalty is given if you take the life of a child 5 or under, or if you commit another crime when you do the murder, like armed robbery or rape,” Treece said.

It’s hard to understand, especially when you compare Timothy Shepherd to Jeffrey Lee Wood.

Wood was sitting in a truck when his accomplice shot and killed a gas station cashier.  Unlike Shepherd, Wood never took a life.  But Wood is now a Texas death row inmate.

“In the Wood case, you have the enhanced crime. You have murder plus armed robbery, and the law of parties picks up Mr. Wood,” Treece said.

So as the jury deliberates Shepherd’s punishment Friday, Tynesha Stewart’s family can only pray for a sentence as close to death as they can get.

“Life, because a person like that, I don’t think they should be let back out on the streets,” Stewart’s sister, Gayla, said. Community activist Quanell X also took the stand for the prosecution, detailing an alleged confession Shepherd made about the crime.

SOURCE:   http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081009_tnt_tim-shepherd-death-penalty.f968f260.html

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SLAIN AGGIE CO-ED’S FAMILY ON GUILTY VERDICT: “WE HAD GOD ON OUR SIDE”

05:47 PM CDT on Thursday, October 9, 2008

By Rucks Rusell 11 News

HOUSTON—A Harris County jury on Thursday found Tim Shepherd guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, last spring.

Shepherd was convicted of strangling Stewart at his apartment, dismembering her body, burning her remains on his patio grills and throwing them in a dumpster.

Stewart’s body was never found.

The jury deliberated for about four hours before returning with the unanimous verdict. Shepherd showed no emotion when it was read, but Stewart’s family burst into tears.

“I’ve known he was guilty, always,” Stewart’s mother, Gayle Shields, said. “You can run but you can’t hide. We had God on our side.”

Throughout the trial, which garnered international attention, prosecutors portrayed Shepherd as a classic batterer who killed the 19-year-old coed in a fit of jealous rage.

“He put her in the bathtub, he dismembered her there.  He washed away her bodily fluids down that bathtub. He barbecued her,” prosecutor Marie Primm said.

Stewart, a student at Texas A&M, was home for spring break when she was killed.

Her friends and classmates testified that Shepherd was a jealous, controlling man who threatened to kill her when she started dating someone else.

Shepherd’s attorneys insisted the relationship was not one-sided.

“Tynesha was very much in love with Tim. She pursued the relationship, and he reciprocated,” defense attorney Chip Lewis said.

Stewart’s mother had taken the stand earlier in the week, breaking down as she described the last time she saw her daughter.

She said she knew something was wrong when she confronted Shepherd about Tynesha’s disappearance.

Shields said Shepherd refused to look her in the face, and said her daughter had gone out for a walk and never come back.

Community activist Quanell X also took the stand for the prosecution, detailing a confession Shepherd made about the crime.

He said Shepherd told him Stewart was dead, and he had thrown her remains in a dumpster.

“Tim never showed any remorse for Tynesha,” the activist said.

Defense attorneys claimed Quanell’s testimony actually helped their case.

“It clearly illustrated law enforcement’s repeated refusal to honor Mr. Shepherd’s request for a lawyer to be present,” Lewis said.

The evidence presented in the trial was nothing short of gruesome.

Shepherd’s neighbors became suspicious when they noticed the continual grilling going on at the apartment and smelled a foul odor coming from the grills.

Upon searching the apartment, investigators found Stewart’s teeth and what appeared to be bone fragments in the garbage disposal.

“It’s not every day you pull a bone from a drain or a tooth, so this is a case that will stay with us for a long time,” one detective said.

But because her body was never recovered, the defense claimed the evidence in the trial did not add up.  Lewis told the jury the only just verdict was not guilty.

In the end, the jury disagreed.

Stewart’s family said they hope the loss of Tynesha will save other lives.

“She will awaken people in abusive relationships to get out,” sister Gayla Shields said.

The punishment phase of the trial lasted for the rest of the day Thursday. It will resume Friday.

Shepherd could face up to life in prison for the crime.

SOURCE:   http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081008_tnt_shepherd-verdict-stewart.f7058936.html

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JURORS PAINT A DIFFERENT PICTURE OF SLAIN AGGIE CO-ED’S KILLER DURING PUNISHMENT PHASE

07:34 PM CDT on Friday, October 10, 2008

By Leticia Juarez / 11 News

HOUSTON—The mother of the Texas A&M student murdered by her ex-boyfriend broke down during the punishment phase of Timothy Shepherd’s trial.

She told jurors she couldn’t accept that all of her daughter was gone.

On Thursday the jury found Shepherd guilty in the murder of his former girlfriend, Tyneesha Stewart.

But during Friday’s punishment phase, juror’s painted a much different picture of the convicted killer.

The defense paraded family and friends to the stand.

Many spoke about what a good father Shepherd is to his daughter, as well as a good friend.

Stewart’s mother sat through all the testimony.

She talked about the first time she met her daughter’s killer.

Shepherd’s Sunday school teacher described him as fun-loving and a good father.

His stepfather, Kenneth Washington, said Shepherd was rebellious as a teen. He also described Tyneesha Stewart  as a “nice young lady” and “very smart girl.”

In all, 19 witnesses took the stand today.

The punishment phase will resume on Monday.

Shepherd faces up to life in prison.

SOURCE:   http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081010_rm_shepherd-trial-punishment.fd9a81f6.html

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AGGIE CO-ED’S KILLER TAKES THE STAND

05:28 PM CDT on Monday, October 13, 2008

By Rucks Russell / 11 News

HOUSTON—The man convicted of killing, dismembering and grilling his ex-girlfriend took the stand in the punishment phase of his trial Monday.

A Harris County jury on Thursday convicted Tim Shepherd in the murder of Texas A&M freshman Tynesha Stewart.

Stewart was home for spring break last year when she was killed.

Shepherd’s testimony Monday was deliberate, calm and at times chilling.

He admitted to being angry with Stewart last year because she was dating someone new.

He said they argued about it at his apartment, and Stewart took a swing at him with a knife.

Shepherd said that’s when he snapped and strangled the life out of her.  He described it as an out-of-body experience.

He said it was panic that led him to dismember her body and cook it on his patio grills, because he didn’t think anyone would believe him.

Investigators never recovered Stewart’s body, but they did find her teeth and what appeared to be bone fragments in Shepherd’s garbage disposal.

Stewart’s family attempted to remain in the courtroom for Shepherd’s testimony, but the judge eventually ordered them out.

Shepherd’s attorneys argued their client is sick and should get supervised probation and mental help.

Prosecutors demanded the maximum sentence allowed: life behind bars.

SOURCE:   http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou081013_tnt_stewart-murder-shepherd.10c3d72d2.html

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Here is the latest update on Ms. Tynesha Stewart’s murderer:

HOUSTON JURY GIVES 99 YEARS IN GRISLY MURDER

Timothy Shepherd was sentenced late Tuesday to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, the maximum punishment for the murder of former girlfriend, Tynesha Stewart, whom he strangled and dismembered before burning her remains on two barbecue grills in March 2007.

 This verdict hopefully will give peace to the family of Ms. Stewart.

May she rest in peace.

GALE SHIELDS MOTHER OF TYNESHIA STEWART

Photo By MAYRA BELTRÁN/CHRONICLE 
Gale Shields, mother of murder victim Tynesha Stewart, weeps after the jury sentenced Timothy Shepherd on Tuesday. Stewart’s mother and sister testified during victim impact statements.

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