A jury of six men and six women found Demico Stanley guilty of the murder of Lewisville resident Richard Myles. Sentencing will begin Monday morning.
Stanley and co-defendant Adrian Quigley, who was convicted of capital murder in November, were accused of killing and robbing Richard Myles on April 7, 2015 in Myles’ Hampton Bay apartment. Stanley was also being charged with capital murder.
Throughout the trial the defense, led by Caroline Simone, said the incident was simply a drug deal gone bad. Neither the defense nor the state disputed the fact that Stanley pulled the trigger, but why he did was the focus of their arguments. Throughout the trial, Simone was able to convince the jury that Stanley was not involved with a robbery that could have happened that day based on statements Stanley made to police and other evidence.
“He told police, ‘Yeah, I shot the guy, but it wasn’t a robbery.’ He [Stanley] didn’t just tell police things that are good for him. He tells them, ‘I’m a drug dealer. I shot him,’” Simone said.
Simone said if Stanley had the intention to rob Myles, he didn’t do a very good job. She said marijuana, pills and money were left in the apartment.
“It doesn’t make any sense that he [Stanley] didn’t take the money off him [Myles] once he killed him,” Simone said.
The prosecution’s robbery case was based largely on a missing green lunchbox that Myles was known to carry drugs and other items in. The lunchbox was never recovered. Katina Washington, Myles’ fiancé and mother of his son, is the one who alerted police to the missing item, but the defense focused on the fact that at first she said a backpack was the only item missing. Simone said it was only after talking to Anthony Bryant, Myles’ friend, that Washington said anything about the lunchbox.
Myles also had a safe in his apartment that Washington said often had drugs and a Taser in it, but it was empty when police arrived. While Stanley was seen leaving the apartment with a backpack he said was his, Quigley was also seen clutching something to him.
“When I first saw Bam [Quigley] he was coming down Rich’s [Myles] stairs. Bam was running like he got shot he was yelling ‘I think he hit me,’” Bryant said. “I yelled at him, “Y’all rob Rich?; He didn’t say anything when I asked if they robbed Rich.”
A question of self-defense
The prosecution led by Michael Graves, assistant district attorney, also had to prove to the jury that Stanley did not act in self-defense when he fired four to six shots inside Myles’ apartment as the defense tried to argue. Simone said at just over 6 feet tall, Myles “towered” over Stanley.
“I felt that I had to protect myself. I thought I was being set up,” Stanley told police. “He [Myles] grabbed me, so I grabbed my gun, and it went off.”
According to testimony, at the time of his murder Myles was standing in his kitchen next to Quigley, and Stanley was in front of both near the kitchen opening. Matt Shovlin, assistant district attorney, said Stanley was in total control of who can come in or out of the kitchen, which is where the first shot was in Myles’ murder.
“He was neutrally touched on the shoulder in his [Stanley’s] view, and that’s enough to pull out the gun? He stayed and continued shooting because he needed to finish the job, which was taking care of Rich [Myles],” Shovlin said. “They [Stanley and Adrian Quigley, the co-defendant] are both responsible for everything that happened in that apartment.”
Shovlin and Graves argued that if Stanley felt threatened, he could have walked out of the apartment as the front door was right behind him when he backed out of the kitchen.
The state used testimony both from the lead detective, Scott Kelly, and Richard Fries, deputy medical examiner for Tarrant County, to show that Stanley lied to police and did not act in self-defense.
The state played a portion of the video recording of an interview between Kelly and Stanley at the Lewisville Police Department. In it Stanley told Kelly that “It could have been a friendly gesture [Myles grabbing Stanley in the kitchen], but I’m paranoid.” He also told Kelly that once back at the car after the shooting that Quigley got into the backseat of the car, even though police only found traces of blood in the front. Graves said the important aspect of many of Stanley’s statements are the various untruths he told.
Fries testified that Myles had six gunshot wounds. He said Myles had a graze gunshot wound over his right eyebrow and a gunshot wound on the left side of his chest that traveled to his spine.
“Every bit of evidence is Rich towers over him [Stanley] so how do you get a downward gunshot? You get it when reaching down into the safe to finish the [drug] transaction,” Fries said.
Myles also had a gunshot wound to the right side of the chest and a gunshot wound that first entered the side of Myles’ left arm then left near the armpit before re-entering the chest. Fries said it damaged internal organs and exited the chest out the right side of the body.
“This would be a fatal wound…because of the injury to his heart and liver,” Fries said.
The jury deliberated more than six hours before returning a guilty verdict.