The Dallas Morning News
Mistrial declared in woman’s death
Man, 28, accused in robbery, killing was facing life in prison
A jury failed to reach a verdict Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of robbing and killing an elderly Dallas woman in her home.
Daniel Brooks, 28, would have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of capital murder in the March 2013 slaying of 79-year-old Avanell Cowgill.
Instead, the jury deadlocked, and Judge Fred Tinsley declared a mistrial after five days of testimony and several hours of deliberation. No date has been set for a retrial.
During the trial, prosecutors said Cowgill was beaten with a wooden stool and other items in her Lochwood home before she was throttled to death March 7, 2013. Her body was found two days later, covered with 15 wounds.
Prosecutors alleged Brooks murdered Cowgill in the course of robbing her. He took her purse, they said, and used her credit cards at various locations with another man, David Herron.
That’s how police identified Brooks and Herron as suspects, after tracing activity on the stolen cards and re- viewing surveillance footage at ATMs and a Wal-Mart.
Defense attorneys for Brooks laid the blame squarely on Herron.
“David Herron is the creator, the writer, the director and the main actor in this travesty,” defense attorney Brad Lollar said.
Herron is facing a sentence of two to 20 years for his role in Cowgill’s murder. He testified for the prosecution in this case.
Staff writer Stephanie Embree contributed to this report.