A Bowie County jury sentenced a Texarkana man to three life sentences Thursday after finding him guilty of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment.
Tremayne Douglas Ware, 39, shot his wife, Bengie Cooper, 56, once in the head after shooting his girlfriend in the back in front of her 4-year-old daughter at the Creekside Apartments in Texarkana, Texas. The two victims were talking near the laundry building and parking lot the afternoon of July 29, 2021, when Ware pulled up in a white Yukon SUV.
The surviving victim and her daughter hid beneath a car in the parking lot as Ware walked to Cooper. Cooper tripped and fell over a curb and was shot as she lay in the parking lot.
Ware was arrested later in the day by Texarkana, Arkansas, Police Department officers on a drunk driving charge after being seen driving erratically by an off-duty officer on Highway 67.
In their closing arguments Thursday afternoon, First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards asked the jury to sentence Ware to life in prison.
“Life means something. Life means he cannot get to anyone else. Life means Bengie’s family will have some peace knowing that he’s not getting back out,” Richards argued.
Assistant Public Defender Clayton Haas asked the jury to sentence Ware to a “big number” but to have mercy.
Crisp pointed to Ware’s long criminal history which now includes more than 15 felony convictions.
“The reason we have gone through those one after another after another is that he is out of time. We were at habitual offender six felonies ago,” Crisp argued. “He does not deserve the freedom the rest of us deserve.”
202nd District Judge John Tidwell presided over the trial.