Ever since its premiere back in 1992, NBC’s ‘Dateline’ has been delving into some of the most compelling true-crime cases to really shine a light upon the dark, deviant side of human nature. Thus, of course, its season 27 episode 50, entitled ‘Out of the Darkness,’ chronicling the harrowing 2016 homicide of Robert Louis Poynter III on an isolated rural road, is absolutely no different. So now, if you wish to learn more about the same — with a specific focus on all the details of his passing, the ensuing legal investigations, as well as its aftermath — we have got you covered.
How Did Robert Poynter Die?
Although born in the idyllic town of Utica in Michigan, Robert “Bob” Poynter had always considered Texas his true home owing to the simple fact he’d built his entire life within the Lone Star State. The truth is he was not just a devoted family man but also a hard-working community leader, especially considering he’d kickstarted his career only upon graduating from Frisco Fire Academy. The 47-year-old had actually landed a spot at the University Park Fire Department in Dallas, where he remained for nearly 19 years as an active rescue firefighter-paramedic and then a Captain.
That’s why Robert’s September 9, 2016, murder on the remote Farm to Market Road 35, right near Hunt County Road 2595, shocked everybody to the very core. The Royse City officials had responded to an emergency call at around 10:45 p.m., yet even though they arrived at the scene mere moments later, it was already too late. The captain had been shot once point-blank in the head while sitting on the driver’s side of a Jeep (belonging to his wife), meaning there was no way to revive him. Reports further suggest he never even saw the assault coming since the bullet had entered clean through his temple.
Who Killed Robert Poynter?
It was Robert’s wife of nearly seven years Chacey Poynter who’d dialed 911, but it soon came to light that she, along with her lover Michael Garza, was responsible for the slaying. The couple actually had plans to meet up at the local Jack in the Box on that fateful evening to discuss what the future might hold for their troubled marriage, only for Chacey not to make it. Instead, she contacted her husband to tell him “my Jeep was stuck [on the farm path] and that I needed him to come help me,” which he rushed to do — he was ostensibly shot from the passenger side almost as soon as he arrived to the rescue.
Chacey first told officials it all happened in the blink of an eye after she’d stepped toward the side of the road to allow Robert to work, so she just noticed a shadowy figure in the subsequent frenzy. However, as her conversations with detectives continued near the scene, she began babbling more about the troubles in their union and her explicit affair with Michael rather than her spouse’s death. This facet obviously struck them as strange, particularly because none of her stories were aligning, driving them to read her her rights despite the fact she was not under arrest, at least at that point.
The nurse aide was then taken to the police department, where her interrogation began at 2:20 a.m. and lasted 8 hours, that is, until she admitted it was her lover Michael who’d pulled the trigger. Chacey later claimed she’d spent the day with him, and they’d planned to confront Robert regarding his alleged verbal, physical, and mental abuse towards her, yet things went awry. She actually maintained her innocence by asserting she never realized Michael was carrying a gun, let alone setting a trap, but it’s also imperative to note there’s no clear evidence of her husband ever being abusive.
With Chacey conceding to Michael’s involvement and their affair, along with the fact she’d made Robert change his life insurance policy (worth $685,000) to ensure she was the primary beneficiary, the duo was arrested within days. The lack of spark within their marriage (even following Robert’s recent attempts to reignite it through a vacation), her several other extramarital affairs, and her texts to lovers claiming she wanted her husband gone didn’t help matters either.
Therefore, the theory became that Chacey was the mastermind behind Robert’s murder to cash in on his life insurance policy, and she indirectly solicited Michael’s help. Though they were both eventually found guilty of murder.
Read More: Where is Chacey Poynter Now?