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Trial delayed for accused Calallen Walmart killer Billy Ferguson

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 00:32:26-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Amy Cooley was hopeful that a status hearing in Nueces County's 28th District Court Wednesday would clear the way for the trial to begin for the man who police say confessed to randomly stabbing her 17-year-old son Gabe Cooley to death at the Walmart in Calallen in August of 2020.

That didn't happen.

Billy Ferguson is using an insanity defense against the murder charge he faces, but his attorney said in today's hearing that his client refuses to answer questions during psychiatric evaluations.

Instead of scheduling his trial, lingering questions about Ferguson's competency led to the setting of another hearing date for July 18 — further delaying the legal proceedings.

“It’s pretty frustrating," Amy Cooley said. "And I’m wondering what his motives are to decide not to talk at this time. I’m just a little perplexed."

If Ferguson continues to refuse to take part in psych evaluations, the court is considering moving on to the punishment phase of his trial.

In the hearing on Wednesday, his attorney gave a brief summary of the details of the murder and said there's no dispute Ferguson committed it.

That caught Amy by surprise, and she broke down slightly in the courtroom.

"That was a little rough," she said. "I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we were just going to see whether or not he was competent to stand trial today. So even though it was rehashed very quickly, I was a little taken aback."

She and her family have dealt with these emotions for almost two years now, and she's eager to see her son's killer get punished.

“We’ve learned a great deal about grief," she said while choking up again after the hearing.