, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

June 12, 2014

Man sentenced to life without parole for capital murder of father of five

BEAUMONT — Gregory Adam George, 32, of Beaumont was sentenced to an automatic life term in prison Thursday in connection with a 2011 capital murder in the Avenues neighborhood of Beaumont.

The trial took place over the space of 2 1/2 days under the supervision of Criminal District Court Judge John Stevens.

On April 16, 2011, George came into the back yard of Jose Morales in the 1300 block of Avenue E. Morales and a friend, Jose Sanchez, were sitting drinking a beer after having worked inside the house installing some crown molding. When asked for money by George, both refused, but they did offer him a beer.

George left but returned a short time later, this time armed with a black revolver and trying to cover his face with a cap. He immediately shot Sanchez (who survived to testify) in the back. He fell out of his chair to the ground. Then Morales was shot four times at point blank range, and George pulled Morales’ wallet out of his pocket.

He also tried to get Sanchez’ wallet, but was unable to get it out of the pocket. In frustration he put the pistol to Sanchez’ head and pulled the trigger three times, but the weapon had already been emptied.

George fled when he heard the sound of Beaumont Police Department sirens. They had been called by Morales’ wife, who ran out the front door and hid in the family truck with their children before calling 911. Morales was later declared dead at the scene, but not before telling his friend that he couldn’t hold on any more. The father of five then asked Sanchez to “take care of my family.”

In an exhaustive investigation, several persons of interest were identified (including George) by detectives of the Beaumont Police Department. Several of them were eliminated by failing to match the physical description of the shooter, others by having a verifiable alibi. George provided statements that could not be verified by detectives, so the investigation narrowed and focused on him.

After recovering from his wound, Sanchez was able to identify him out of a photo lineup, as did two neighbors who identified George as being in the area shortly before they heard shots fired. A former roommate of George came forward and told police that George told him he was going to do some robberies to be able to buy drugs. After the murder, George admitted to the same witness that he had “done the robbery, but not the murder.”

First Assistant Criminal District Attorney Pat Knauth said, “As the case went on, you knew what kind of a dad Jose was, even though I never had the honor of meeting him. His last thoughts were of his wife and kids, and the bravery they exhibited during this trial showed his faith and love for them. I believe that the jury saw that too.”

George had previous felony convictions for Possession of Controlled Substance (two) and Evading Arrest. He was under Federal supervision for drug trafficking at the time of the murder. He will serve his sentence without the possibility of parole.

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