Man charged in 2002 cold case murder

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- A man has been arrested and charged with killing his wife in a 2002 cold case.

Stanley Coring Jr. was arrested Thursday and charged with killing his common-law wife, Debra Covalt.

Investigators say Coring found Covalt’s body inside a dilapidated horse barn on her property in the 8300 block of east Harris County around 5 p.m. on May 6, 2002.

According to authorities, Covalt was shot three times. Investigators learned Covalt and Coring had been at the Baytown Fairgrounds for a cook-off event on May 4, 2002, where witnesses say they saw the couple fighting before driving off together in Coring’s truck toward their home.

Officials say soon after, Coring told numerous people Covalt was missing. He left town on the following morning and returned home on May 6, 2002, where he told authorities he found Covalt’s body.

Investigators interviewed Coring at the time, but he denied killing Covalt. Investigators found a weapon in Coring’s possession that matched evidence at the crime scene, and they determined it to be the weapon that killed Covalt.

The case went unsolved, but authorities with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit began a follow-up investigation into Covalt’s murder, interviewing original and new witnesses.

Incriminating information was discovered regarding Coring’s actions before, during and after Covalt’s murder. Investigators traveled to Pearl, Miss., in 2015 to interview Coring again. They say Coring gave a statement that contradicted several key points made in his original statement and provided details not supported by facts or evidence from the scene or witness accounts.

The findings were presented to a Harris County grand jury on Dec. 21, 2016. The grand jury returned an indictment against Coring for Covalt’s murder.

Officials with the Rankin County Sheriff's Office arrested Coring after he turned himself in at the Rankin County Jail in Brandon, Miss. on Thursday. He will face extradition back to Harris County.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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