Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder Calls: The Silencer’ chronicles the murder-for-hire plot that led to the death of Craig Nail at his home in Frisco, Texas. A difficult divorce and a bitter custody battle between Craig and Vera Elizabeth Guthrie led to her hiring Mark Lyle Bell to kill Craig. The authorities proved that he was the triggerman who also injured Craig’s girlfriend, Therisa. Mark’s eventual confession proved to be instrumental in bringing charges against Elizabeth. So, let’s find out what happened to him then, shall we?
Who is Mark Lyle Bell?
On the day after Christmas in 2007, Craig Nail and Therisa became victims of a violent shootout at Craig’s home. A gunman entered through the unlocked garage door, gravely injuring Therisa and killing Craig. The police uncovered a lead that led them directly to Mark, who had been in and out of prison before, as the triggerman. Text messages connected him to Vera Elizabeth Guthrie, who the police thought hired Mark for the hit. As it would turn out, they were right!
Mark’s DNA was a match to the beer cans that were recovered from the yard across the path from Craig’s home. Then, the .22-caliber shell casings from the crime scene matched those found in his pickup truck. Mark was also captured on surveillance cameras at a local Walmart, buying minutes for the phone found at Elizabeth’s mother’s home. Once he was confronted with the evidence, he confessed to everything. Mark pleaded guilty in 2011 and admitted that he used a .22-caliber Ruger to carry out the shootings.
Mark said that Elizabeth promised him payment in return for killing Craig. He was supposed to get paid around $5,000 to $7,000 for that from Elizabeth and her mother. While he agreed to testify at Elizabeth’s trial, he proved to be a difficult witness on the stand. Mark claimed that he was under heavy medication for depression and other issues and didn’t remember what happened in December 2007. He also stated that his memory might have been affected by a head injury he had during his childhood. He also denied shooting Therisa. However, Elizabeth ended up taking a plea deal and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Where is Mark Lyle Bell Now?
After Mark Lyle Bell pleaded guilty to capital murder in 2011, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Furthermore, Mark was also handed down a life sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and another 10 years for hindering the apprehension of a felon. He had taken Elizabeth and the other defendant, Thomas Grace, out into the country to hide out from the police once they circled in on the three of them. As per prison records, Mark remains incarcerated at the Barry B. Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas.