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Ranger testifies in Gary trial

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

The murder trial of Daniel Scott Gary continued Wednesday with the ongoing testimony of former Texas Ranger Tracy Murphree.

Gary, 35, is accused of fatally shooting his father, William “Carl” Gary, 65, with a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun April 9, 2011, in Bolivar.

Murphree played a 26-minute interview, which he conducted with Gary after the shooting, for the jury Tuesday afternoon.

Recordings played before the court Tuesday were rehashed by prosecutors Michael Graves and Matt Shovlin on Wednesday morning. Gary, according to the recordings, admitted to shooting his father but said it was not intentional.

Defense attorney Bruce Isaacks argued that Gary shot his father because he was startled by his father’s yelling and the gun went off quickly.

According to Murphree, Gary was standing outside a barn and his father was either sitting in or getting out of a chair in the barn when the gun was fired.

“Ranger Murphree did an excellent job of explaining to the jury how the evidence contradicted the defendant’s assertions — such as how close the two were when the victim was shot, the victim was likely seated, not standing when shot, etc. — to disprove some of the defendant’s statements,” said Jamie Beck, first assistant district attorney.

During the daylong testimony, prosecutors brought in Denton County Sheriff’s Office forensics Investigator Patrick LeMaire, who testified fingerprints found on the alleged murder weapon matched those of Daniel Gary.

“There was an exact match of prints to Daniel’s in paint on the shotgun — believed to be a right-hand finger,” LeMaire said.

He also testified he found a slight amount of blood in the barrel of the shotgun.

“The blood could have been human or animal, that I cannot tell, but there is blood there,” LeMaire said.

During cross examination, Isaacks argued that the fingerprint in the paint could have been there for six months or more — since painting a gun is something hunters do to reduce the shine.

Before the prosecution rested, Dr. Robert Lloyd White of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office prepared to present his autopsy findings to the court. However, Isaacks objected to his autopsy report because “it’s subject to hearsay” and wanted it thrown out.

Judge Margaret Barnes of the 367th District Court overruled the objection and allowed the report to be entered into state evidence and brought to the jury.

The report stated that the injuries sustained by Carl Gary were a “penetrating shotgun wound to the head and brain.” White testified Carl Gary was mainly shot at the edge of the right side of his mouth, which resulted in widespread shedding of the skin and injuries to the neck, jawbone and skull, and a severely damaged brain.

Before defense testimony began, the jury was asked to leave the courtroom so Daniel Gary could be questioned.

Gary, who sat motionless before the court all day, gave short and simple answers.

He chose not to take the stand and confirmed he turned down a plea bargain for a 40-year sentence with the state because the number of years was not as low as he wanted.

The defense began with testimony from Gary’s sister, Andrea Gary, and Deputy Jeffrey Coats from the Sheriff’s Office before resting its case.

Andrea Gary, a 31-year-old Lake Dallas resident, testified that she spoke to her brother several times either in person or on the phone and knew he had a troublesome relationship with their father.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin today.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is .