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Shooting victim remembered as hardworking man

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 23, 2011 at 12:23 a.m.

Travis Marks holds a photo of his son, Forrest Marks, when he was a boy, at his ranch in Goliad County Monday. "This is how we want to remember him," Marks said. Grady Wayne Duncan was charged with shooting Forrest Marks, 38, and was arrested at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Forrest Marks was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday night.

FANNIN - Travis Marks sat on his green living room couch Monday afternoon doing one of the last fatherly things he could do for his son, Forrest Emil Marks - pick out a decent picture of him to run in the newspaper.

The pictures all showed Forrest Marks in action, working on cars or working on the ranch.

For Travis Marks, the camera-captured moments painted a truthful picture of his son that he will always remember.

"He was a good guy," said the father, as he hung his head in sadness.

Forrest Marks, 38, died Saturday night at a home in the 7400 block of Old San Antonio River Road after being shot.

Grady Wayne Duncan Jr. was arrested on a murder charge. The home belongs to Duncan.

According to the arrest report, Duncan said Forrest Marks arrived at his home earlier that evening, and the two began drinking alcoholic beverages near his front porch.

An hour into the visit, Marks began arguing with Duncan and his wife, Angelique Duncan.

Grady Duncan said he asked Marks to leave, but Marks not only refused to leave, he also put his hands into his pockets and threatened to kill Duncan, Duncan's wife and the couple's children, according to the arrest report.

The threats prompted Grady Duncan to retrieve his .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from his truck and shoot a warning shot into the ground.

After the warning shot failed to deter Marks from approaching him, Duncan fired a shot that struck Marks in the abdominal area, according to the report.

Sheriff's deputies recovered the weapon in Duncan's truck.

Marks' body was transported to the Travis County Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.

Phone and email messages left for Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor and Chief Deputy Terry Simons for more details on the investigation were not returned as of Monday evening.

Attempts to contact Angelique Duncan for comment via Facebook and by visiting the family's home yielded no results.

Travis Marks said he had a vague idea about why his son went over to the Duncans, who he and his family knew from church, but he declined to give details.

Instead, Travis Marks hoped to focus on more positive memories of his son.

A good student, Forrest Marks attended Goliad High School before dropping out and ultimately earning his GED.

Over the years, the victim found work as a welder and assembling kitchens for Sonic Drive-in.

However, for the last few years, he worked alongside his father on the family's cattle ranch in Fannin.

When he was not working, Forrest Marks did get into his fair share of trouble.

A search of court records, revealed convictions ranging from 1994 to 2010 for crimes including theft less than $50, assault causing bodily injury and driving while intoxicated.

In addition to being ordered to pay more than $21,000 in restitution over the years, Forrest Marks also served more than 545 days in jail.

As of late, Forrest Marks had seemingly turned his life around.

A close pair, Travis Marks and his son enjoyed fishing, rebuilding older Chevrolet cars and hunting.

"He killed his first deer when he was 7 years old," said his father.

Marks described his son, who had no children and was in the process of getting a divorce, as an intelligent, polite and respectful man.

"That's the way I like to remember him," said Marks.

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