Woman pleads not guilty to capital murder in 2012 stabbing in Bowie County

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A woman arrested last year in Mexico pleaded not guilty Monday to capital murder involving a 2012 stabbing death in Bowie County.

Alana Leigh Coleman, 39, was arrested in Mexico in October by U.S. Marshals in the Aug. 12, 2012, murder of Donald Ray Morris.

Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter announced last month that the state will not seek the death penalty for Coleman. The only other punishment for capital murder is life without parole.

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Coleman’s court appointed attorney, Butch Dunbar of Texarkana, entered a plea of not guilty for Coleman to the capital murder charge on Monday morning in a video hearing. Fifth District Judge Bill Miller set the case for a pretrial hearing March 22.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Morris’ body was found by police after a manager at the Redwood Apartments at 3400 W 7th Street noticed a broken window with blood on it and blood on the front door of Morris’ apartment. A pair of bloody, broken scissors and a broken knife were collected from the scene.

Neighbors of Morris’ reported seeing him the afternoon of his death. They also reported seeing a car Coleman was known to drive when she was allegedly at the complex working as a prostitute. A sample of DNA collected at the crime scene is allegedly a match to Coleman’s DNA and a camera with nude photos of Coleman was allegedly collected as evidence from the crime scene. Coleman allegedly killed Morris so she could rob him of cash.

In addition to the Capital Murder charge, Coleman also had warrants for Probation Violation/Possession of Controlled Substance and Failure to Appear for a misdemeanor theft charge. Her bond is set at $1 million.

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