By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A 17-year-old Stillwater boy accused of fatally shooting the boyfriend of a woman he regarded as his mother was ordered Wednesday to stand trial as an adult on a first-degree murder charge, prosecutor Kevin Etherington told KUSH.
Coryon Maryell Lauray Thomas, who will soon turn 18, remains held without bail pending his March 3 trial court arraignment in the slaying of Mandrale Alexander Henry, 26, who was shot once in the right side of his back with a 20 gauge shotgun in the family home after the couple had a loud argument, according to preliminary hearing testimony.
The victim’s girlfriend, Brittany Gentzler, testified, “Cory was standing in my hallway. I could only see the barrel,” before the shooting at about 4:15 a.m. on Nov 10, 2019.
When she heard the shot, “I yelled what the f…. are you doing, Cory.’ I said ‘what is wrong with you,'” she testified. She said she did not know why the teenager shot her boyfriend, who had moved back into the house three months earlier where the defendant also lived.
“I called 911. I was literally running in circles and screaming. He was still breathing,” as the 911 operator was telling her how to do CPR, she testified. Her boyfriend, with whom she had an on and off relationship, died after being transported to the Stillwater Medical Center, police said.
The victim’s girlfriend said she had gotten upset when she saw messages on his cell phone: “My feelings were hurt. I was crying.”
She said she considered the 17-year-old, who helped with the couple’s baby, as one of her children; she said that the teenager’s father was her ex-boyfriend, with whom she had another child.
Asked by defense attorney Virginia Banks if she would be surprised to know that her children said that she and the victim had a violent relationship and that he had punched a hole in the wall several months earlier, she testified, “Mandrale has never touched me.”
About 9 p.m. the night before the slaying, “(Coryon) Thomas went to sleep in the living room after smoking three bowls of marijuana. Thomas said he smokes every night before he goes to sleep,” the teenager told police, according to an affidavit by Stillwater Police Officer Kyle Bruce.
After waking up to the noise of a fight, “Thomas said his siblings were yelling for help. Thomas immediately went to the garage to retrieve a shotgun because he was concerned for his mother’s safety. The shotgun was stored on the floor under a disabled van parked in the garage.
“Once the gun was retrieved, he sat inside the vehicle where the shells for the shotgun were stored and loaded the gun with four rounds,” the teenager told police, the affidavit alleged.
As he was sitting in the vehicle, the woman he considered to be his mother ran into the garage and was yelling to help her, the teenager told police, the affidavit alleged.
The teenager ran back in the house to the bedroom where the victim was kneeling on the floor and the woman was standing against the wall, he told police, the affidavit alleged. “He pointed the shotgun towards Henry yelling ‘Stop,'” he told police, the affidavit alleged.
“Thomas described Henry as kneeling with his right hand under the bed and his ribcage area exposed to Thomas,” who pulled the trigger and shot him, the affidavit alleged.
“Thomas stood at the door to see if Henry would respond in an aggressive manner. Thomas took the shotgun outside to keep it from the children, and then returned to assist Gentzler provide aid,” he told police, the affidavit alleged.
“Thomas told us he knew Henry had guns and did not know if he had a pistol hidden under the bed. Henry had told Thomas about a gun he kept in his car, but did not know if he had other guns,” the police affidavit alleged.
“Thomas said he had heard from his siblings Henry had physically assaulted Gentzler in the past, but he had never been a witness to any physical altercations between the two,” and he had never been physically or verbally attacked by the victim, the affidavit alleged.