Yorktown man charged with murder in 2001 death
DeWitt County Sheriff's Sgt. Carl Bowen couldn't let the death of Pamela Shelly go.
Bowen, a patrol deputy when Shelly was found dead of a gunshot wound in a home in northwest DeWitt County in 2001, asked Sheriff Jode Zavesky in 2008 if he could re-examine the case.
"When I became sheriff in 2005, we reviewed some of the old cases, including this one. It was originally ruled a suicide," Zavesky said. "When I created the investigator's position and Carl moved in there, he told me he had been at the scene of that case and wanted to take a closer look at it. Some things just didn't seem right to him.
"I told him to run with it."
On Wednesday, Ronnie Joe Hendrick, 41, of Yorktown, was indicted by a DeWitt County grand jury on a murder charge for Shelly's death.
Hendrick was already in the DeWitt County Detention Center for a parole violation and was arrested and arraigned there on the murder charge.
Hendrick's bond on the murder charge was set at $500,000 by District Judge Kemper S. Williams.
"Things turned around on the case this summer, and we got some good information that wasn't known in 2001," Zavesky said.
"We kept going back to the district attorney, keeping him informed of our progress. He finally said he thought we had enough to get an indictment and hopefully a conviction."
Hendrick and Shelly lived with each other for a period of time in 2001, said the sheriff.
"I can't tell you how hard and how diligently Carl worked on this case," said Zavesky.