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Groves won’t face capital murder charge

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Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - Prosecutors say they don't have enough evidence against Gary Groves to upgrade to a charge of capital murder, but on Dec. 20 the Ellis County Grand Jury added prior felonies to his indictment.

According to Ellis County Prosecutor Don Maxfield, the charge of capital murder requires the victim's death be intentionally caused during commission of another specifically named felony.

'We have evidence he intentionally caused her death,' said Maxfield. 'But we don't have evidence he caused it during the commission of another felony.'

Groves is suspected in the murder of 14-year-old Ferris girl Charity Comes and is currently being held in the Ellis County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Elsewhere around Ellis County, a Palmer man was shot, a Wilmer fireworks stand was robbed and a Waxahachie man was found guilty of running down a piece officer.

Comes' family had reported Charity missing on Aug. 31 when they believed she had left her home with someone she knew. Area teenagers discovered her nude body on Sept. 3. Coroners listed strangulation as the cause of death.

The murder investigation continued for over a month before investigators got what they called a break in the case — DNA evidence in Groves' vehicle linking him to the crime.

Groves, a friend of Comes' family, was arrested on Oct. 11. The suspect is a repeat offender who has served time in prison for various crimes, including possession of marijuana and burglary of a habitation. Groves had been released after a two-year stint in the penitentiary shortly before Comes was murdered.

The trial will be held in the 40th District Court before Judge Gene Knize. Groves is scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 4.

'Basically they show up,' Maxfield explained. 'The judge makes sure they have an attorney, makes sure they know what they are charged with. It takes about two minutes.'

The first pretrial hearing is slated for Feb. 6, with the second pretrial hearing set on March 9.

'The first trial setting is March 19,' Maxfield continued. 'Nothing is carved in stone around here. Any of those can be moved to another date for any number of reasons, but that's the schedule for right now.'

Waxahachie man sentenced

n Judge Knize sentenced Hubert Warren, 44, of Waxahachie to 60 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after a jury found him guilty of assault on a public servant.

Warren had been charged after he hit Trooper Ephram Herring with a stolen semi truck while trying to avoid spikes set up by the troopers. Warren had stolen two vehicles and led Dallas police and state troopers on a high-speed chase ending in Ellis County.

Warren's attorney, Mark Griffith, claimed his client made every effort to avoid hitting the trooper, but prosecutor's said Warren threatened to run over Herring.

No charges in Palmer shooting

n Palmer police say no charges have been filed so far in a Christmas shooting.

'I can't comment on that,' a staff member told the Ellis County Press. 'It's under investigation.'

The victim apparently decided to ignore a trespass warrant filed against him for previous incidents at the 603 Craig residence. Officers found the man near the back door of the home, suffering from several gunshot wounds.

The weapon was found in a clothes hamper. The woman suspected of firing the shots was released after questioning.

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