Tynesha Stewart Murder: Where is Timothy Wayne Shepherd Now?

Image Credit: Find a Grave

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder in the Heartland: Spring Breaking Up’ puts the spotlight on Tynesha Stewart, who disappeared during spring break in 2007. As she was reported missing, the police investigation uncovered some shocking discovery that sent shockwaves across the community of Bordersville. With the inclusion of some exclusive interviews with Tynesha’s loved ones and officials linked to the case, the viewers get a detailed account of the tragedy and its aftermath.

Tynesha Stewart Went Missing Before Police Discovered She Was Killed

Tynesha Devonna Stewart entered the life of Gail Shields as a little bundle of joy on July 10, 1987, in Galveston, Texas. She grew up in a seemingly loving household with her mother, her sister Gayla Taylor, and caring stepfather Preston Shields. Known for her “electrifying smile,” Tynesha was highly determined to achieve her dreams or anything she put her mind to. At the time of her tragic demise, she was a 19-year-old student at Texas A&M University, studying Civil and Chemical Engineering.

Image Credit: Find a Grave

On March 15, 2007, Tynesha disappeared as none of her family members or friends could get in touch with her. Looking for her on their own and failing to find her, Tynesha’s family reached out to the police and reported her missing four days later, on March 19. The homicide division wasted no time in launching an investigation, only to learn that the 19-year-old had been murdered. As per reports, she was choked to death and dismembered in an attempt to get rid of any sort of evidence.

A Lover From the Past Murdered Tynesha Stewart

Soon after they launched a search for Tynesha Stewart, the authorities began interrogating everyone in her life, including her former boyfriend, Timothy Wayne Shepherd. When they went to his apartment at 17710 Red Oak Drive #224 in northwest Harris County, Texas, the investigators found out that the former lovers had gotten into a heated argument between 3 and 4 am on March 15. Timothy claimed that she stormed out of his apartment, and he hadn’t seen her ever since. As they delved deeper into their relationship, they learned that Tynesha and Timothy began dating when the former was 16 years old.

Her friends described their relationship to be quite volatile as they would argue too much, and Tynesha was allegedly scared of him. According to her loved ones, Timothy was a controlling, jealous, and possessive partner. Not only that, but her sister Gayla also claimed that he had choked her and threatened her. Reports suggested that Tynesha began dating someone else when she joined college, leading to Timothy distancing himself from her. But by February 2007, he began calling her numerous times, so much so that the college freshman was afraid to go back to Houston during spring break because of Timothy. Still, she decided to return home and spend time with her friends.

Agreeing to meet with Timothy, Tynesha was picked up from her friend’s place on the morning of March 15. That was the day she had been in contact with her friends and sister, whom she told that she was with Timothy. After learning all these details, the police called Timothy in for questioning and got a search warrant for his house and car on March 20. Upon inspecting his home, they could see that it had been bleached and cleaned with ammonia, while some parts were freshly painted. However, a few blood traces were extracted from the bathroom light switch, the bathtub, and the toilet. During the 10-hour interrogation, he did not want to talk about her former lover’s disappearance at all.

In an attempt to get Timothy to talk or confess, the police reached out to a local community activist named Quanell X, who was also the leader of the Black Panther Party in Houston. Having a history of helping the police, he got in touch with Timothy and went to his apartment, where he convinced the suspect to talk about Tynesha’s disappearance. As soon as he began talking about it, he cried and admitted that he was afraid of receiving the death penalty. But soon, he showed Quanell X where he allegedly left Tynesha’s body in the 14600 block of Ella Street. By the time they got there, the trash container had been emptied.

However, Timothy was arrested and taken to the police station, where he confessed to strangling her in the midst of an argument, dismembering her body, burning and disposing of her body in a tote bag, and keeping it in the dumpster. Apart from his confession, the detectives were also able to extract the victim’s teeth from the garbage disposal. Charged with murder and held on a $250,000 bond, he also tried taking his own life after his arrest but didn’t succeed. When the police talked to Timothy’s neighbors, they said that they noticed black smoke and acrid aroma from two barbecue grills on the balcony of Timothy’s apartment, starting from March 16.

Timothy Wayne Shepherd Remains Behind Bars

During the trial of Timothy Wayne Shepherd that began on September 29, 2008, Tynesha’s sister and stepfather Preston testified that he had given her a black eye during the course of their relationship. Moreover, Preston alleged that he had to pull a gun on his stepdaughter’s boyfriend to get him out of the house. On the other hand, Timothy defended himself by telling the jurors that he acted in self-defense as Tynesha pulled a knife on him and nicked his fingers, according to him. He stated, “First, I was afraid she was going to stab me. But then, all the animosity for the argument came out.”

Instead of calling 911, Timothy claimed that he decided to cover his tracks because he panicked and thought nobody would believe his side of the story. Since he was afraid of getting charged through dental records, he claimed that he used pliers to remove Tynesha’s teeth. After hearing both sides of the coin, on October 9, 2008, Timothy was convicted of murdering Tynesha Stewart. A few days later, on October 14, 2008, he received a 99-year imprisonment sentence and a $10,000 fine. Currently, he is serving his sentence at Memorial Unit at 59 Darrington Road Rosharon in Texas, as he awaits his parole eligibility date set for March 2037.

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