The Brewster County Courthouse in Alpine
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26 UPDATE: Friday, Charles Morrow, was convicted by a Brewster County jury for the 2014 murder of Trey Sands. This is in addition to an earlier guilty verdict against Keith Alan McWilliams. The jury in Alpine deliberated 47 minutes before making its decision. The 31-year-old ex-Marine was sentenced to 55 years in prison.
Walter “Trey” Sands III was living in Alpine when he was killed just before Halloween in October 2014. This month, a Brewster County jury found Keith McWilliams guilty of his murder, sentencing him to life in prison. This week, a second man is being tried for the murder: Charles Morrow. Reporter Steve Anderson has been covering the trial for us in Alpine.
Two new witnesses were brought before the jury on Wednesday, before the state rested its case.The first was Rhonda Bloom. Initially, she was also charged with Sand’s murder, but that indictment was later dropped. She’s now the state’s main eyewitness.
Bloom told the jury that Morrow and Keith McWilliams teamed up against Trey Sands. Morrow used a two-by-four and McWilliams used his pistol. Bloom said that, after Sands was shot by McWilliams and beat by Morrow, the two men continued to “stomp and kick him.” She said, when they later buried him in the desert near Terlingua, they threw rocks at the body, laughing and shouting “trick or treat.”
But under cross examination, Bloom admitted to inconsistencies in her prior statements, such as claiming that Sands had started the fight.
The prosecution’s final witness was Thomas Parsons, a forensic pathologist from Lubbock who performed the autopsy. As the jury was shown pictures from the autopsy, Parsons described Sand’s injuries in detail. On cross-examination, Parsons said the gunshot was, essentially, the sole cause of death.
Morrow’s defense began Thursday morning.