• May 29, 2020

Woman accused in shooting ready for trial - Odessa American: Courts

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Woman accused in shooting ready for trial

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Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 4:50 pm

Courtney Chelle Rice waited quietly wearing a silver cross necklace as her court-appointed attorney, Michael McLeaish, spoke on Wednesday morning in Judge Denn Whalen’s 70th District Court.

McLeaish told Whalen that he hopes Rice’s trial can be scheduled as soon as possible.

On Aug. 19, 2019, Rice was indicted on a charge of murder, a first-degree felony. Rice was booked into the Ector County Law Enforcement Center on Aug. 31, 2019, and she remains in custody as of Wednesday afternoon. Rice has one bond totaling $500,000.

Rice reportedly shot and killed her 48-year-old boyfriend, Jose Melendez Hernandez, on April 2, 2019. The fatal shooting was reported at 2:08 a.m. April 2, 2019, in the 2100 block of Stoner Road, an Ector County Sheriff’s Office release stated.

Deputies located Hernandez on a bed with a gunshot wound to the face, an ECSO affidavit stated. The gun was a Smith and Wesson Governor .45 caliber revolver.

Hernandez was transported to the emergency room of Medical Center Hospital where he died, the affidavit detailed.

Deputies located an unidentified witness in the residence who reportedly heard Rice and Hernandez arguing and a short time later heard a loud noise. The witness stated in the affidavit that Rice told her that she had shot Hernandez.

Deputies interviewed Rice after reading her Miranda Warning and at that time she admitted to shooting Hernandez and then calling 911, the affidavit stated.

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