Indicted for tampering

A local woman has been charged with interfering with a criminal investigation into a fatal shooting in Greenville in February.

Updated June 13 at 3:25 p.m.: This story has been updated to include that Cynthia Ann Stephens bonded out the same day she was arrested, according to family members.  

A local woman has been charged with interfering with a criminal investigation into a fatal shooting in Greenville in February.

Cynthia Ann Stephens entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday in the 196th District Court, indicted on a charge of tampering with a witness.

Stephens, 40, of Greenville, is the wife of Joseph Kyle Stephens, who was indicted on a murder charge earlier this year in connection with the Feb. 18 death of his son, Demontre Diquincy “Red” Washington.

Cynthia Stephens’ indictment was issued by the Hunt County grand jury on April 26; she was arrested by the Greenville Police Department on May 2. She was arrested on a $50,000 bond, and according to family members, bonded out the same same day.

Judge Andrew Bench scheduled her next hearing for July 24. Her appointed attorney, Scott Cornuaud, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The tampering indictment alleged that Cynthia Stephens intentionally or knowingly coerced an unnamed female victim “who was then and there a witness or a prospective witness in an official proceeding” and instructed the witness not to disclose what she knew about Washington’s death “with any member of law enforcement or the Children’s Advocacy Center.”

The charge against Cynthia Stephens is a first-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by 5 to 99 years in prison.

Joseph Stephens’s murder indictment by the Hunt County grand jury also was issued on April 26. He has pleaded not guilty and an interim hearing is scheduled for July 18.

Joseph Stephens was taken into custody by the Greenville Police Department following a series of events in the 2900 block of Walnut Street. A caller to 911 reported hearing gunshots at the location at 2:25 a.m. on Feb. 18.

Responding officers discovered Washington lying in the road with an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported to the Hunt Regional Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries.

While investigating the crime scene, officers were told that Joseph Stephens was inside a residence at 2928 Walnut St. When officers attempted to make contact with him, he refused to exit the house. The police departments tactical team and negotiators were called, and Stephens exited the house peacefully about six hours later and was taken into custody.

Washington’s death was the first confirmed homicide reported in Greenville since the end of 2017.