Man arrested in death outside stadium

Jonathan Ray Shepherd

GILMER — A 32-year-old Gilmer man was arrested Friday in the death of a 29-year-old Gilmer woman whose body was found in the parking lot of Gilmer High School Thursday night, police said.

Jonathan Ray Shepherd remained in Upshur County Jail on $1 million bond Friday on charges of killing Cheyenne Green, whose body was discovered with an apparent gunshot wound, authorities said.

"The offense apparently stemmed from domestic violence," and no other suspects are believed to be involved in the case, Gilmer police Investigator Roxanne Warren said in a news release.

City police were dispatched to the scene about 9:15 p.m. Thursday, Mrs. Warren said.

"Witnesses reported seeing a white female lying on the ground near a vehicle. After further investigation, the female was confirmed to be deceased," she said.

Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said an autopsy was performed at Southeast Texas Forensic Center near Tyler on Friday but declined to disclose the preliminary findings on cause of death.

Byrd said Gilmer police arrested Shepherd without incident in the city before midnight Thursday and the suspect's pickup was impounded, but Mrs. Warren said the arrest was made Friday.

Judge Lauren Parish of the 115th District, who issued the arrest warrant, arraigned and set bond on Shepherd on Friday morning, authorities said.

The county sheriff's office and Texas Department of Public Safety joined police in the investigation, which continued Friday, Ms. Warren reported. She said no faculty or students were involved or injured in the incident, and Byrd said it had nothing to do with the school.

He and Gilmer ISD Superintendent Rick Albritton also said the incident was unrelated to the seventh- and eighth-grade football games between Gladewater and Gilmer at nearby Buckeye Stadium. Albritton said the time of the incident had been determined to be 9 p.m., right after halftime of the eighth-grade game.

Byrd declined to say whether Ms. Green or Shepherd had attended those contests. Albritton said he did not know, but police interviewed "a lot of people that went to the game."

Albritton said school went on as scheduled in Gilmer on Friday and the Gilmer-Gladewater varsity football game scheduled at Buckeye Stadium on Friday night would proceed as scheduled.

He said school officials "tried to maintain some sense of normalcy (because the slaying) had nothing to do with the school.'"

Albritton also said law enforcement authorities released the scene about 6 a.m. Friday to the school district, which had a hazardous materials crew clean the parking lot before it was opened about 10:30 or 11 a.m. for student parking.

The body was about midway between the western end of Gilmer High School and the school gymnasium and was several feet in front of the band hall. The parking lot where the incident occurred is near the southwest end of Buckeye Stadium but is not the parking area nearest the stadium.

Upshur County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray pronounced Ms. Green dead at the scene, Byrd said.