, Port Arthur, Texas


January 24, 2013

Ex-East Texas dentist convicted of murdering wife

— An East Texas jury found a retired dentist guilty of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting of his wife during an argument at their home last summer.

The Smith County jury deliberated a little more than an hour Wednesday afternoon before returning its verdict on Bobby Ray Nichols in Tyler. The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled to begin Thursday morning. Nichols, 76, could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

Earlier Wednesday, Nichols testified told jurors that he was “in a stupor” and did not intend to fatally shoot his wife during an argument at their home last summer.

Under questioning by prosecutors, Nichols said he only meant to scare his wife of 26 years, Rosalind Nichols, 71, with his 9mm handgun the night of June 29.

“I was in a stupor and don’t remember anything from that night. It was the gunshot that woke me up,” Nichols said.

Under questioning by his attorney, Brad Lollar, Nichols testified about the tensions that built between him and his wife during their marriage.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Jason Parrish told jurors that Nichols wanted his wife dead, but that she bled to death slowly from her abdominal wound.

“It took her minutes to die. Not a minute. Minutes,” Parrish said.

Lollar told jurors that Nichols could not please his wife, that they argued often and that Rosalind Nichols became angry when her husband stayed home and angry when he went out.

“All I can tell you is, this is a good man. He killed his wife, and he shouldn’t have done it,” Lollar said.

Prosecutor Richard Vance had the last word. Pointing to Nichols, he said, “The only way to believe what came out of this thing’s mouth is for you to adopt the mindset of a murderer. It takes a big man to get up on the stand and criticize his dead wife. It takes a big man to kill a defenseless woman.”

Earlier in the day, experts for both sides testified about Nichols’ bouts of depression, dependence on alcohol and the mental impairment associated with alcohol abuse or his Parkinson’s disease. However, they said he was capable of criminal intent when he shot his wife.

Outside the jurors’ presence, Lollar asked state District Judge Kerry Russell to allow the jury to consider a manslaughter charge. Russell denied the request. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Text Only
  • screenshot facebook.jpg Facebook vies with Google to Apple for mobile developers

    Facebook is pushing to change a perception that it's not a tool for developers this week at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco, the company's first major event for app makers since 2011.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jamaal Charles' Football Camp

    April 15, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014

  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 11, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png VIDEO: Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game

    Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: White House may ban selfies

    The White House wasn't too pleased after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama that was later used promotionally by Samsung.

    April 9, 2014

  • Investing more money in tornado research would be a disaster

    This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would require National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funding to focus on improving forecasts of "high impact weather events" like tornadoes and hurricanes "for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy."

    April 7, 2014

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Sports Tweets