Biography - Robert Lee Vyers
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Robert Lee Vyers
of Frost, Navarro County, Texas


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Funeral Is Held For Robert Vyers
Special to The News
CORSICANA, Texas, July 23 - Funeral rites for Robert Lee Vyers, 47, farmer fatally shot Tuesday five miles northwest of Emhouse, were held at the First Methodist Church at Emhouse Wednesday.
Surviving are his father, T. F. Vyers, three brothers, R. F. Vyers, Emhouse; G. T. Vyers, Ennis, and H. W. Vyers, Corsicana; three sisters, Mrs. C. H. McNeel and Mrs. Bertie Vyers, both of Emhouse, and Mrs. R. A. Reed, Dallas.

John Ayala, 47, tenant farmer, is charged with murder in connection with Vyers' murder in connection with Vyers' death in a vacant farmhouse on the farm on which Ayala resided. Bond of $1,500 was set after the defendant waived examining trail before Judge A. E. Foster.

Notes:


 

 

BOND SET AT $1,500 FOR MAN CHARGED IN SHOOTING AT EMHOUSE,

JOHN AYALA, FATHER OF 14, FACES MURDER COMPLAINT IN DEATH

   Bond of $1,500 was set Wednesday morning for John Ayala, 47, Emhouse tenant farmer, by Judge A. E. Foster on a murder complaint in connection with the death of Robert Lee Vyers, 47, Emhouse farmer, on the L. I. Griffin farm, five miles northwest of Emhouse, early Tuesday afternoon.

   Vyers was shot once with a P-38 German automatic pistol, the copper-plated bullet entering under the right eye and emerging at the back of the head, officers reported, death being instantaneous.

   The trouble occurred in a two-room farm house located about 300 yards west of the house in which the defendant and his family resided.

   W. H. Colquitt, another tenant on the Griffin farm, made an affidavit to Chas. T. Banister, county attorney, late Tuesday afternoon that he was the only eyewitness, having arrived a moment before the shooting, the prosecuting attorney revealed Wednesday morning.

   Colquitt came to Corsicana soon after the trouble and went to the sheriff's office and then to the county attorney's office. The defendant, according to Banister, also made a statement of events leading up to and including the incident.

   A son of the defendant is reported to have gone to a neighbor's house where officers here were telephoned.

Officers Investigate.

Deputv Sheriffs Raymond Myrick and R. E, Jones and Liquor Control Agent R. T. Bailey answered the original call, to whom the defendant surrendered. Later Sheriff David Castles, Judge Foster and Assistant County Attorney Seton T. Holsey went to the scene of the trouble, made investigations, and interrogated witnesses before returning to Corsicana.

   The only furniture found in the un-tenated farmhouse where the shooting occurred was three stoves in the kitchen, a bed and springs —without a mattress or linen. The bed was stacked against a wall. In the room where Vyers' body was found, a blanket was discovered along with a hat and a quantity of dried beans and bean stalks.

   The bullet that is believed to have killed Vyers was discovered by officers on the floor.

   Constable Joe Allen assisted Banister in the investigations and interrogations of the witness and defendant late Tuesday.

  Ayala, the father of 14 children, waived examing trial Wednesday morning when he was taken before Judge Foster, and was returned to jail pending arranging for bail.

Funeral services for Vyers were held Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock from the First Methodist church in Emhouse. Interment was in Pattison cemetery. The rites were conducted by Rev. J. Morris Bailey, pastor of the Eleventh Avenue Methodist church here.

   Surviving are his father, G. T. Vyers, Emhouse: three brothers, R. F. Vyers, Emhouse; G, T. Vyers, Ennis, and H. W. Vyers, Corsicana; three sisters, Mrs. C. H. McNeel, Emhouse; Mrs. R, A. Reed, Dallas, and Miss Bertie Vyers, Emhouse, and other relatives.

   Pallbearers were Frank Seely, Troy Halcomb, A. J. Tinkle, Frank Moody, Jim B. Collins and Claud Maggard.

   Corley Funeral Home directed.

 

The Corsicana Daily Sun   -  Wednesday July 23, 1947

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Jury Selection For Murder Trial Starts Tuesday

   Selection of a jury in the case of the State of Texas vs. John Ayala, murder, is slated to begin Tuesday at 10 a m. in the Thirteenth Judicial District court. A special venire of 75 prospective Jurors in addition to the regular panel of 36 veniremen for the week has been summoned. Announcement of ready was made Monday morning by counsel representing the state and the defendant.

   The case of the State of Texas vs. Lee Slaughter, murder, was continued, charged to the defense.

   Ayala faces an indictment in connection with the fatal shooting of Robert Vyers, July 22 this year, about four miles northwest of Emhouse at a house located near one occupied by Ayala and his family.

     This is the first time the case has been called for trial.

   After announcement was made, A. P. Mays, district judge, ordered all witnesses to he on hand Tuesday morning.

   The defendant filed a motion for a suspended sentence in the event of conviction. Attorneys said Ayala will plead innocent when arraigned.

   The prosecution is being hand-led by Roe and Ralston, special prosecutors, and Chas. T. Banister and Seton T. Holsey, county attorney and assistant, respectively.

   The defendant is being represented by Tyson, Dawson and Dawson and Doyle Pevehouse.

   Slaughter, is a Limestone county negro, facing an indictment in connection with the knife slaying of Frank Lewis, negro, Sept. 10 1944.  The case was sent here on a change of venue from Limestone county.

The Corsicana Daily Sun -  Monday, October 27, 1947

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Jury Selection Started Tuesday For Murder Case

   Selection of a jury for the trial of John Ayala, Emhouse farmer, charged with murder, got under way in the Thirteenth Judicial District court Tuesday morning after A. P. Mayes district judge, had ordered attachments issued for bringing in of six special veniremen who failed to answer when called.

   Announcement of ready was made Monday when the case was called for trial.

   Two jurors had been selected when court was recessed at noon until 1:30 p. m. Those selected were William Clay Turner of Dawson and James H. Cerf of Corsicana.

The state had exercised five preemptory challenges and the defense had used one while Judge Mays had dismissed two for cause.

Ayala is being tried in connection with the fatal shooting of Robert Vyers, Emhouse farmer, four miles northwest of Emhouse, July 22. Counsel has indicated he will plead innocent when arraigned. An application for a suspended sentence has been filed by the defendant in the event of conviction.

Not to Seek Death Penalty.

   The state will not ask the death penalty, questions propounded to prospective jurors indicate. The state is not qualifying the jurors relative to the death penalty in their questioning.

   B. B. Anderson, employee of an oil concern, was excused by Judge Mays over the exception of  defense counsel.

   Anderson said he was was planning to visit a sister in Oklahoma this week—his vacation period. Exception was taken by T. L. Tyson, one of the defense attorneys, on the ground that a number of prospective jurors summoned were absent and excused and that he feared the defendant might be required to take jurors picked by officers rather than those selected by a jury commission.  His objection was over-ruled by the court.

Some excused.

   A number was excused by mutual consent of the attorneys, and others by the court on physicians’ certificates, illness and other reasons.

   The prosecution is being handled by Roe and Ralston, special prosecutors, Charles T. Bannister and Seton T. Holsey, county attorney and assistant, respectively.

   The defendant is being represented by Tyson, Dawson and Dawson and Doyle Pevehouse.  

    A large number of witnesses and spectators attended the opening session of the trial Tuesday morning.

   The prospective jurors were warned to refrain from discussing the case while awaiting call for examination.

 

The Corsicana Daily Sun  -  Tuesday, October 28, 1947

 

State Rests Alter Testimony Heard In Murder Trial

By PAUL MOORE

Daily Sun Staff.

   Introduction of testimony occupied Wednesday morning in the trial of John Ayala, Emhouse farmer, on a murder indictment in the district court here. He pleaded innocent when arraigned by J. C. Roe, special prosecutor, after an interpreter, Mike Luna had advised him on the indictment.

   Defense Attorney T. L. Tyson filed an application for a suspended sentence in the event of conviction.

   Ayala is being tried for the fatal shooting of Robert (Trapper) Vyers of Emhouse last July 22 on the farm of L. I. Griffin, where Ayala is a tenant.

   The State rested at 11 a. m. The defense was introducing testimony when the noon recess was taken.

District Judge A. P. Mayes declined a defense request for adjournment 12 minutes before noon and warned both state and defense to have their witnesses ready and not to delay the court.

   Hotly contested legal skirmishes over evidence sought to be elicited from various witnesses enlivened the proceedings as the attorneys objected to various phases of the testimony and efforts of the opposition to elicit statements and admissions.

First State Witness.

   J. Newell Tinkle, Emhouse, filling station operator, was the first state witness.  He said he saw the defendant the morning of the trouble at his place between 11 and 12 o’clock—that Vyers was present—all talked in friendly manner—John Ayala had a bottle of wine and the witness and Vyers both took drinks after he (Tinkle) had opened the bottle.

  He did not know whether the defendant took a drink or not. He said Vyers showed Ayala a $100 bill, and both were at his station when he (Tinkle) went to lunch.  He said he didn’t see either leave the station but saw Ayala drive by enroute home but both were gone from his station when he returned.  He later saw the defendant with officers following his arrest.

Objecions Sustained.

Stale objections were sustained about the reputations of the two men being elicited from Tinkle on cross-examination.

   Dave Maggard of Emhouse, said he saw Vyers going north toward home about 12:30 p. m. on the day of the trouble. Morris H Colquitt, who resides five miles northwest of Emhouse, the only eyewitness of the trouble except the defendant, testified about the shooting and the incidents leading up to the trouble, his actions following the episode and his coming to Corsicana and reporting to officers.

   Colquitt is also a tenant on the L. I. Griffin farm and resides about two miles from the farm where the trouble occurred.

Went to house.

   Colquitt related he went to Ayala's house a few minutes before noon to ask that the Ayala boys help him hoe cotton that afternoon.

   The defendant was not at home, but was expected. Colquitt said he remained in his pick-up a few minutes when the defendant and his wife returned from Corsicana.

A stove and groceries were in the back of Ayala's pick-up, the witness related. Ayala told him he needed his sons in his own field that afternoon and about that time Trapper appeared and said he had a new deck of cards and desired to play. The witness said he advised the two men he had to go home, but might return later.

All took a drink out of a wine bottle, Colquitt said.

Drive to Site.

   The witness said he carried water to another farm and left his own house about five minutes to 1 o'clock and went to Ayala's house, where the boys told him the two men were at a smaller house 200 or 300 yards up in the field whore the shooting occurred. He drove to the site, walked into the room and spoke and sat down as the two men were finishing a hand. Trapper won the hand, a small amount of silver being involved. Colquitt said he pulled out , his money to get into the game and Vyers suggested a pot be made. He quoted the defendant as asking for change of a $10 bill from Vyers and after the change was produced, neither could find the $10 on the blanket and later he quoted the defendant as saying: "That's all right, I'll pay."

   Ayala then secured another $10 bill from his billfold in his overalls, and handed it to Vyers.

   The witness said as Vyers was dealing the wind blew his Colquitt's cards and he was watching to see that they were not exposed, when he heard Trapper exclaim: "Hey"

   Both men had risen to a standing position, according to Colquitt, with Vyers holding his hands up and backing away, Ayala had a gun in his hand.

Heard One Shot.

   Colquitt maintained he did not hear Vyers say anything and could not understand some statement he heard the defendant mumble.  He heard one shot and grabbed his cards and money in front of him, ran to his pick-up and drove rapidly home where he told his wife what happened.  He said he saw Vyers “keeling over: after the shot and saw blood on his face and head.

 The witness related he arrived home at 1:20 p. m., and after telling his wife of what had occurred, went to the field and got Buck Tinkle who was hoeing for him, and then after picking up his, wife, left for town. He made a statement to Chas. T Banister, county attorney.

Cross-Examination.

   On cross-examination, Colquitt said that Vyers weighed 200 or 215 pounds and was about 5 feet 3 inches tall.  He termed him a powerful and active man.  He said this was the first game he had ever played in which Ayala participated, but had played with Vyers.

When questioned about Vyers’ occupation, the witness said all he knew was that he “fooled with cattle.” 

   The game was “draw poker,” according to Colquitt.  He admitted that both Vyers and Ayala looked for the missing $10 bill.  He denied any unpleasantness, cursing, etc., between the two men while he was present.  He said he had known Vyers to carry a cattleman’s large knife, but did not see it that afternoon.  He said he made another statement before the grand jury.  He denied knowing what was in his first statements since he was excited, and denied any abuse of the defendant or any cursing on the part of the deceased.

   Mrs. M. H. Colquitt, wife of the previous witness, corroborated the testimony of her husband about the time he left home and his return, of his being excited, going after Buck Tinkle, and their starting to Corsicana.

Doctor Testifies.

   Dr. Will Miller, county health officer, testified that Vyers was shot under the right eye with the bullet emerging behind the left ear, and in his opinion, causing his death.

   Buck Tinkle, employed by Colquitt hoeing cotton, testified about the same events as previous witnesses, except that he was not sure about the time, since he since he was without a timepiece. He said he returned to the field 7 or 8 minutes before 1 p.m. and the Colquitt had left about 15 minutes earlier.  He told of stopping at Johnny Patterson’s place and then stopping at Emhouse where they  got into Robert Colquitt’s car for the remainder of the trip to Corsicana.

Officer on Stand.

   Raymond Myrick, deputy sheriff, said he was called shortly after 1 p.m. and accompanied by R. T. Bailey, liquor control inspector, and R. E. Jones, deputy sheriff, went to the house of Ayala where he received a P-38 German pistol with seven shells in it.  One had been discharged.  He related that the officers then went to the house where Vyers’ body was found.

   He described how the body was lying on its back, hands to the side, and with the feet crossed, right over left.  He said the other officers examined the body after Sheriff David Castles, Judge A. E. Foster and Assistant County Attorney Seton T. Holsey arrived.

   R. T. Bailey said one penny was found in a shirt pocket, a $100 and a $20 bill were found in a billfold in the back trouser pocket and a knife and snuff box were in another trouser pocket.

He described the deceased as a big man.

Identified Knife.

   Sheriff David Castles identified a knife he produced as the one taken from the effects of Vyers. The blade was about two inches Long.  The state rested at 11:21 a.m.

    Newell Tinkle was recalled by the defense and declined to commit himself as knowing the general reputation of the deceased. He was asked if Vyers had assaulted him once, but objections by the state were sustained by Judge Mays as was defense question about deceased being overbearing, etc.

   L. C. Boswell, Barry, said he had known the defendant 26 years and resided on his farm 14 years.  He gave him a good reputation and also said that he had never been tried or convicted on a felony charge.

Good reputation.

   L. I. Griffin, Corsicana, owner of the farm on which Ayala resides, said he had known the defendant many years and he had a good reputation.

   Jack Brooks, Barry, said Ayala's reputation was good and denied having any trouble with the defendant, but had him leave his home on one occasion when he (Brooks) discovered the defendant was drinking. Ayala remained on the Brooks farm six years.

   Roy Massengale, Barry; Raymond Worsham, Barry: R. W. Varnell, Barry, and others testified of the good reputation of the defendant. George Ward. Blooming Grove ginner, said his reputation was good.

Character Witness.

   Charles J. Johnson. Emhouse, said Ayala’s reputation was good, and when the defense sought to elicit testimony relative to the reputation of Vyers, state’s objections were sustained “for the time being” by Judge Mays.

   Claude Maggard, Emhouse, said he had known M. H. Colquitt four or five years, but denied knowing his reputation.

   Attorney Tyson asked him if he (Maggard) had talked with him (Tyson) and Pevehouse in Emhouse Monday.  The witness answered in the affirmative and said that Monday it was just conversation, but he was swearing now. He admitted that he told the attorneys Vyers’ reputation was “bad as hell.”

   Jim Bob Collins, Emhouse, said he had known Colquitt several years, but had never had any dealings with him.

   Mike Edwards, Rout 5, dairy Operator, and former merchant said he knew the reputation of Vyers but state’s objections were sustained.

   R. L. Vandygriff, former operator of the Vogue Café here, said he didn’t know Vyers, but that he came into his place twice late in 1946.  He was asked about an assault made on the witness, but the state’s objections were sustained.

Tuesday Evening Session.

   The jury was completed at 6:15 p. m. Tuesday after the state had exhausted its 15 challenges and the defense had excused 12. Judge Mays had excused nine for cause. The remainder of the jury was finally excused.

   The jury was prohibited from reading newspapers on the request of the defense attorneys, but permission was granted to attend picture shows. Judge Mays outlined the regulations as to conduct and communications involving members of the jury.

   The jury is composed of William Clay Turner, Dawson; James H. Cerf, Corsicana; H. M. Settle, Jr., Corsicana; A. L. Bain, Kerens; Marvin Speer, Frost; J. P. McKinney, Corsicana; E. B. Lancaster, Kerens; S. C. Ward, Purdon; I. K. Levy, Corsicana; D. F. Fields, Kerens; Clayton Johnson, Kerens, and J. C. Mahoney, Corsicana.

The Corsicana Daily Sun  -  Wednesday, October 29, 1947

 

 

AYALA FOUND GUILTY AND PENALTY SET AT 3 YEARS IN PRISON

FARMER IS TRIED IN CONNECTION WITH FATAL SHOOTING OF VYERS

   John Ayala, Emhouse tenant farmer, was found guilty of murder without malice and was assessed three years in the penitentiary by the jury in its verdict returned to A, P. Mays, district judge, shortly before noon Thursday.

   He was tried in connection with the fatal shooting of Robert Vyers, also of Emhouse, July 22, this year, at a house located on the farm on which Ayala and his large family resided.

   Doyle Pevehouse, defense attorney, stated Thursday afternoon a, motion for a new trial would be filed in behalf of Ayala within the required two days period.

   Ayala entered a plea of innocence when arraigned Wednesday morning.

Testimony Concluded Wednesday.

   Testimony was concluded Wednesday afternoon at 3 o'clock. The charge of the court was presented at the beginning of the night session and the arguments of attorneys, one and one-half hours to the side, were given Wednesday night.

   State's attorneys to argue the case were David Ralston, special prosecutor; Charles T. Banister, county attorney, and J. C. Roe, special prosecutor and former county attorney. Defense attorneys  to speak included Matt Dawson, Doyle Pevehouse and Tom L. Tyson.

Resumed Deliberations.

   The jury came into the court Thursday morning at 10 o'clock and reported to Judge Mays that it was unable to agree on a verdict. Judge Mays ordered the jury to return to its rooms and resume deliberations.

   A recheck of testimony carried in yesterday's paper showed that evidence given by Claude Maggard should have read Colquitt's reputation was "bad as hell," not Vyers' reputation, as carried.

Wednesday Afternoon.

   Evidence was concluded at 3 p.m. Wednesday, when the defense rested, and five minutes later the state also announced it was resting. Judge Mays immediately began the preparation of his charge to the jury.

   Juanita Ayala, wife of the defendant, was the first witness in the afternoon. She corroborated other testimony about accompanying her husband to Corsicana the morning previous to the tragedy and of their movements until they returned home about noon. She said her husband had never been convicted of a felony in this or any other state.

   The defendant and his wife both testified through Manuel Santos interpreter.

   Ayala and his wife exchanged a pair of shoes at a store and had parts fixed for a cultivator and started home from Corsicana about 11 a. m., stopping in Emhouse to get a stove.

   Ayala said he was 47 years old—was married and the father of 12 children.  He had farmed and cut wood since grown, and told of the various farms on which he had resided.  He said he had known Vyers since before Christmas last year and that the only dealings he had ever had with the deceased was the purchasing of whiskey from him several times, Ayala said he knew Vyers carried a knife with him at all times.

   His testimony was about his movements in the morning were substantially as that given by his wife, except he added that he purchased a quart of wine from an unknown bootlegger in Corsicana. He then told of getting the stove at an Emhouse  store, stopping at the Tinkle filling station for oil and gas, the request and his acquiescence in giving Vyers and Tinkle drinks from his quart of wine.

   Tells of Poker Game.

   The defendant said the deceased asked to play poker and he agreed to play awhile before going to work, and that Vyers exhibited a $100 bill.  Ayala said Vyers arrived at his (Ayala’s) home about 10 minutes after he got home.

   Vyers and Ayala had played about 30 minutes when Colquitt joined them in the two-room house in the Ayala field, and a $10 bill had disappeared.

   Ayala said he owed Vyers $3 and had put up the $10 as security, and after they were unable to find the bill on the blanket, he (Ayala) put up another $10 and Vyers gave him the change.  He said Colquitt was there when the second $10 was put up.  He said there had been no argument but he asked for the $10 three times and then Vyers got mad and made a dive for something at his pocket and Ayala said that Vyers threatened to kill him and cursed him, calling him a “dirty Mexican son-of-a-bitch.”

Afraid of Vyers.

   Ayala said he was afraid of Vyers, was nervous and got his gun and shot him one time.

  “ I was not mad at him, I was scared,” the defendant testified.

   Ayala said he picked up the cards after the shooting, told his boys boys what happened and sent them to telephone the law.  The state did not cross-examine either Ayala or his wife.

   Newell Tinkle was recalled and testified that Vyers assaulted him (Tinkle) one time, kicking him in the face and breaking his nose. Under cross-examination, Tinkle also said he had seen Vyers run when hemmed up.

   C. J. Johnson testified Vyers was overbearing, as did Mike Edwards.

Tells of Trouble.

   R. L. Vandygriff, 260-pounder, was recalled and testified about trouble with the deceased at his Vogue café late in 1946.  Vandygriff said Vyers was drunk and almost fell from a stool.  He asked him to leave since officers might arrest him and he returned an hour or an hour and one-half later, asked for a Coca-Cola, then hit Vandygriff with the jaws of a knife on the head and ran. Vandygriff said he caught Vyers, knocked him to the sidewalk and later knocked him into Beaton street off the curb.  Vandygriff said he (Vandygriff) was slashed across the nose twice with a knife during the trouble.

   Vandygriff denied under cross-examination, of frequent trouble at his place of business, and admitted that he (Vandygriff) had bitten a chunk out of Vyers during their fight.  The witness said he came to the courthouse to file a complaint but found out that Vyers had already gone to the city hall on the matter.

   Joe Dixon, Emhouse, said he sold Vyers a new deck of cards the day of the shooting.

   G. D. Gillen, Blooming Grove, was called to the stand, but since he had been in the courtroom, a state motion to exclude his testimony was sustained by the court.

Good Reputation.

   Joe Bradley, Rice, said the defendant had a good reputation when he lived on his farm, and  Raymond Worsham, recalled, said Vyers’ reputation was overbearing.

   W. M. Gray, Emhouse said he had known the deceased 20 years and had known him to be both good and kind and dangerous and overbearing.  This testimony was also stricken by Judge Mays on objections presented by the state.

   Inez Ayala, almost 18 years of age, daughter of the defendant, one of the 12 children of the family, said she knew Bob Vyers and that she had talked to him on the road a couple of weeks before the trouble.  She said the deceased asked her about her dad, the crops and “tried to make love to me.” The latter was stricken from the Record on the objections leveled by the state.

   The courtroom was fairly full of interested spectators at both sessions of the court, but was not as crowded as is generally seen at murder trials here.

The Corsicana Daily Sun  -  Thursday, October 30, 1947

 

District Clerk

   A motion for a new trial in the case of the State of Texas vs. John Ayala was filed with the district clerk Friday.  Defense Attorneys Tyson, Dawson and Dawson and Doyle Pevehouse set up two grounds.

1.  That the verdict was contrary to and not supported by the evidence.

2.  That the verdict was contrary to and not supported by the law applicable to such cases.

   Ayala was found guilty Thursday noon by a jury on an indictment for murder without malice in connection with the death of Robert Vyers, July 22, and was given a three-year sentence in the penitentiary.

 

The Corsicana Daily Sun  -  Saturday, November 1,

1947

 

 

John Ayala Out On Bond Pending Appeal Outcome

    A motion for a new trial for John Ayala was denied by A. P. Mays, judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District court Saturday and notice of appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals was made. The defendant was released from jail on bond of $3.000 to await the outcome of the appeal.

   Ayala was found guilty of murder without malice and was assessed a term of three years in the jury verdist. The verdict was received October 30 and was in connection with the fatal shooting of Robert Vyers of Emhouse, July 22, this year, four miles northeast of Ernhouse.

     The prosecution was handled by Roe and Ralston, special prosecutors, and Chas. T. Banister and Seton T. Holsey, county attorney and assistant, respectively. The defendant was represented by Tyson, Dawson and Dawson and Doyle Pevehouse.

   Neither side sought a continuance on the first call of the case for trial.

The Corsicana Daily Sun  -  Monday, December 1, 1947

 

Ayala Sentence Affirmed Today By High Court

   A three-year sentence given John Ayala in district court here last fall for the fatal shooting of an Emhouse farmer was affirmed by the court of criminal appeals in Austin Wednesday.

   The information was contained in an Associated Press dispatch. Ayala, a Latin-American, was indicted by Navarro County Grand Jury on August 20, 1947, charged with murder in the slaying of Robert Vyers during a poker game at an abandoned farm house near Emhouse. He was tried before Judge A. P. Mays and convicted of murder without malice on October 29, 1947, drawing a three-year prison term.

   Attorneys Jerry Roe and David Ralston were employed as special prosecutors in the case.

   The appeal court said it could not consider the appellant's bills of exceptions in the absence of a showing in the court record of time extension permitted for appeal.

The Corsicana Daily Sun  - Thursday, June 17, 1948

  

John Ayala Back Behind Bars As New Trial Denied

   John Ayala, Latin-American now under a three-year prison sentence in the poker-game slaying of Bob Vyers at Emhouse July 22, 1947, was back behind bars Saturday after several months liberty.

   Avala had been free on bond pending  appeal, which proved unsuccessful. The criminal court of appeals in Austin last Wednesday upheld the Navarro District Court, denied him a new trial.

   Penitentiary committment papers were prepared by District Clerk J. C. Gaston Saturday, and Sheriff David Castles announced that Ayala surrendered into the officer's custody.

   It was not known when Ayala would be transported to prison. He was convicted by a jury here last October.  Vyers was shot to death in a shack near Emhouse during a poker game.  Ayala had claimed self defense.

The Corsicana Daily Sun  -  Saturday, November 13, 1948

 

Ayala's Motion Denied.

   The court of criminal appeals in Austin Wednesday denied John Ayala's request for leave to file a second motion for a rehearing in his murder case. The court previously had denied the Emhouse Latin-American a new trial.  He is under a three-year prison sentence in the fatal shooting of Bob Vyers at Emhouse July 22, 1947

The Corsicana Daily Sun – Wednesday, November 17, 1948

 

Jester Grants 60-Day Reprieve For John Ayala

   Gov. Beauford Jester has approved a 60-day emergency reprieve for John Ayala, convicted slayer of Bob Vyers on July 22, 1947, Sheriff Castles announced Wednesday night.

    Ayala, who recently was committed to the county jail pending transfer to the penitentiary, was immediately released by the sheriff upon receipt, of a telegram from William L. McGill, executive secretary to the governor. The telegram advised the sheriff that Ayala, who lost two attempts for a new trial in the appeals court, "must voluntarily return to jail for transfer to Huntsville at the expiration of the 60 days."

   A proclamation from the governor is expected at any time, but no reason was set forth in the telegram for the sudden reprieve.

   Vyers, Emhouse farmer, was fatally shot during a poker game in a shack near Emhouse. Ayala claimed self-defense during the trial over a year ago. He was found guilty of murder without malice and assessed a three-year prison term.

The Corsicana Daily Sun - Thursday, November 18, 1948

 

Sheriff’s Office.

   John Ayala, convicted of murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Bob Vyers of Emhouse in 1947, was back in the county jail after a 60-day reprieve, Monday, Ayala was sentenced to three years.

The Corsicana Daily Sun  - Monday, January 17, 1949

 

Sheriff’s Office.

   Sheriff David Castles left Wednesday morning for Huntsville with John Ayala, where the Latin-American will begin serving a 3-year term in connection with the 1947 slaying of Bob Vyers of Emhouse.  Ayala had been granted two temporary reprieves.

The Corsicana Daily Sun – Wednesday, February 9, 1949

 

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