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Groves could go on trial in March

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Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - The trial of Gary Charles Groves, 21, of Ferris, indicted in the murder of Charity Sue Comes, 14, of Ferris and a freshman at Ferris High School, late last summer could go to trial in March of next year in the 40th District Court.

Groves, who was arrested Oct. 11, was indicted Dec. 6 by an Ellis County grand jury on one count of murder.

He was charged following the discovery of DNA evidence in his vehicle related to Comes.

Groves has been jailed since his arrest with a $1 million bond.

Chief Felony Prosecutor Don Maxfield said the charge would not be upgraded to capital murder.

Maxfield said prosecution lacked evidence to prove Groves intentionally caused Comes' death.

Arraignment was expected to come after New Year's.

Pretrial hearings have been scheduled for February.

If convicted, Groves could receive from five years to life in prison.

Comes' nude body was discovered Sept. 3 by several teenagers walking along the banks of Red Oak Creek near FM 813 and Farrar Road outside Ferris city limits.

She had a bra around her neck.

Cause of death was said to be strangulation.

It was not known whether sexual assault was involved.

Ellis County Sheriff Ray Stewart said Comes and Groves knew one another from family friends and their community.

Comes family members said they felt she left home with someone she knew at 3 a.m. Aug. 31 when she disappeared.

Groves was on a five-year probation at the time of his arrest.

Past charges against Groves have included marijuana possession and burglary.

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