BELTON — A 27-year-old Waco man convicted of capital murder in the 2012 shooting death of Belton resident Stephen Wright is seeking a new trial.
A jury convicted Chance Deallen Keller of capital murder in July. Since then, an inmate at Bell County Jail has contacted the district attorney's office with a claim that he heard a fellow inmate brag about killing Wright and getting away from it.
On Friday, presiding Judge Martha Trudo heard testimony from the inmate, Leslie Whiteley, who stated in a letter that Killeen resident Brand Hargett laughed when a news story about Wright's murder came on the television at the jail.
Whiteley said Hargett bragged that the wrong man had been convicted and that he murdered Wright accidentally in a drug deal that went wrong.
Keller took the stand Friday in a tense hearing in which one spectator had to be thrown at after yelling that Keller was getting inadequate representation from his court-appointed lawyers.
"I'm not an angel," Keller told the court. "I do do bad things, but I'm not a murderer."
Hargett, 22, testified as well, asserting his Fifth Amendment rights when questioned Friday. He is serving a 10-year sentence after his probation was revoked on convictions of two charges of burglary of a habitation.
Trudo will decide whether Keller will get a new trial on either Monday or Tuesday.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.