Sherman man sentenced for 2020 murder
SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — After a trial lasting six days, Ebby Wade has been found guilty in the first-degree murder of Emilia Gunnels.
Judge Brian Gary read the verdict to a full courtroom on Monday morning. It was the jury's responsibility to recommend a punishment after hearing additional testimony from witnesses.
"This case was about guilt/innocence," explained Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith. "This was a circumstantial evidence case, albeit a strong circumstantial evidence case. We told the family all along that punishment wasn't really anything we needed to worry about; we needed to get a guilty verdict, which we did."
Against court advice, Wade chose to represent himself in the punishment phase. Judge Gary admonished him several times for trying to keep arguing his innocence.
Gunnels was found dead in March 2020, three days after being reported missing. Her family members took the stand to give emotional testimony about how the 21-year-old's murder still affects them.
"I hope this gives them the closure I feel they should have had since the beginning," said alternate juror Carol Radcliffe. "They should never have been put through the initial tragedy."
It took the jury less than 10 minutes to arrive at a recommended sentence of life in prison plus a $10,000 fine.
Wade, 46, intends to appeal the decision.