The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

July 8, 2008

Palestine man charged with murder

PALESTINE — A 22-year-old Palestine man was arrested Sunday night and charged with the weekend shooting death of a 30-year-old Grapeland woman at her Houston County residence.

As of late Monday, Eric Lamond Davis, 22, of Palestine was being held in the Houston County Jail in Crockett on the charge of murder, according to authorities.

Authorities arrested Davis around 7:45 p.m. Sunday at a Palestine residence in the 1000 block of North Jackson Street, charging him with the weekend murder of 30-year-old Betty Cruz of Grapeland.

Texas Ranger Sgt. Rudy Flores told the Herald-Press that officers with the Grapeland Police Department responded to Cruz’ residence in the 400 block of Lime Circle in Grapeland during the early morning hours Saturday in reference to an apparent shooting.

Grapeland officers arrived at the residence to discover Cruz had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head.

Cruz was transported to East Texas Medical Center in Crockett where she later died as a result of her injuries.

An autopsy on Cruz’ body was ordered by Houston County Justice of the Peace Clyde Black and performed Sunday at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.

Preliminary results from the autopsy listed Cruz’ cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head, with the manner of death listed as homicide.

Investigators quickly identified Davis as a suspect in the woman’s murder, determining he had fled Grapeland and was hiding in the Palestine area, according to Flores.

Investigators then sought assistance in the investigation and manhunt from the Palestine Police Department, according to Flores.

On Sunday night, officers with the Palestine Police Department located Davis at the North Jackson Street residence, arresting him on a murder warrant issued by Black. The arrest was made by Flores and Palestine Police Lt. Nick Webb.

Flores said significant contributions in the investigation were made by Palestine Police Sgt. Brenda Gray, Palestine Police Sgt. Richard Johnson and Palestine Police Det. Charles Steen, in addition to Palestine police officers Gary Rayford, Christy Ryan, Richard Welch, Matthew Kerr, Jamie McArter, Brian Litner and Daniel Dancer.

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