The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Local News

April 16, 2014

Guilty pleas expected in July 2013 shootings

GREENVILLE — A  Greenville man, sentenced to state prison earlier this year on a weapons charge, is scheduled to plead guilty today to multiple counts involving two different shootings in July 2013.

A hung jury was the result of a trial in February concerning Royce William Tawater, 27, on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of deadly conduct.

A retrial on the charges had been scheduled next week in the 354th District Court.

However, Tawater is now set to enter guilty pleas to the three remaining counts during a hearing in the court this morning.

Tawater was found guilty February 27 of one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The jury  sentenced Tawater to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division, with a $10,000 fine.

The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the three remaining counts and Judge Richard Beacom set the new trial for April 21.

Tawater was alleged in the assault indictments to have shot and wounded a Greenville man, and to have pointed a handgun and/or fired a gun at a male victim on July 1, 2013. The deadly conduct indictment alleged Tawater fired in the direction of a residence in the 3900 block of Sayle Street on July 27, 2013.

Tawater had one previous felony conviction listed on the indictments, for injury to a child by an act in 2008.

The aggravated assault indictments are punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison, while the deadly conduct charge carries a maximum sentence upon conviction.

Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon is a third degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and an optional fine up to $10,000.

But based on Tawater’s criminal history, the punishment range was enhanced to a second degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine up to $10,000.

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