Murder Trial Begins with 911 Tape Played for Jury - Ksst Radio

Murder Trial Begins with 911 Tape Played for Jury

The second floor courtroom of the Hopkins County Courthouse was crowded Tuesday morning for opening arguments and the first witnesses called by the Prosecution as Gavin Heath Gilbert, 17, is being tried for the murder of 18-year old Tyrese Prior, 18.  Gilbert has been charged with one count of Murder and four counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon but is only being tried on the murder charge. The trial is expected to continue until the end of the week. Gilbert has been held in Hopkins County Jail since his arrest in December of this year at his home in rural Hopkins County.

In opening statements the District Attorney’s office noted that the sale of marijuana was involved in the shooting. It was stated that on two previous occasions at least one of those in the vehicle that Gilbert allegedly fired upon had purchased marijuana but had received less than the amount promised in the sale. This time, a scale to weigh the substance was used and again it was short. As the vehicle drove away, Gilbert fired shots into the vehicle striking Pryor twice in the back.

The first witness called was the dispatch officer on duty at the time of the 911 call from the vehicle carrying Pryor to seek aide. A recording of the call was played for the jury. Following a recess, District Attorney Will Ramsey called a witness regarding the autopsy findings. Law enforcement witnesses were scheduled to follow. Both D. A. Ramsey and Assistant D. A. Clay Harrison are conducting the case for the prosecution. Former District Attorney, and now defense lawyer, Frank Long is representing Gilbert.

All entrance to Hopkins County Courthouse during the trial will be through a metal detector at the basement entrance as security is tightened throughout the time of the trial.

All entrance to Hopkins County Courthouse during the trial will be through a metal detector at the basement entrance as security is tightened throughout the time of the trial. 

The incident occurred on County Road 1185 near the South Liberty Community in December. Pryor was taken first to Hopkins County Fire Station 20 as directed by the dispatcher in the 911 call. From there, he was met by ambulance and transported to CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital where he was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace B. J. Teer.

Gilbert was arrested when the Texas Ranger, DPS, and the combined Hopkins County/Sulphur Springs SWAT team served a warrant at the Gilbert home around 2 a.m. the next day following the shooting.

Author: Jimmy Rogers

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