WINONA, Texas (KETK) – KETK is learning new information regarding the man accused of murdering 62-year-old Pastor Mark McWilliams at Starrville Methodist Church Sunday.
According to Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, 21-year-old Mytrez Woolen was charged with capital murder in the shooting death of the minister at his church Sunday morning.
Woolen had broken into the church and was hiding in the building. Shortly before services began Sunday, McWilliams came across Woolen who was trying to hide in the back area of the church.
Smith said McWilliams drew a pistol on Woolen, but Woolen was allegedly able to get his pistol and shoot the pastor.
Woolen was arrested later the same day after stealing a car from the church. His arrest was not his first run-in with law enforcement– Woolen has been in and out of the court system since he was a teenager.
Court records show Woolen was arrested in Tarrant County in 2016. Since he was a juvenile at the time, no further information is available on the arrest.
In 2019, Woolen was arrested in Marshall for burglary and was later sentenced to six years probation along with 300 hours community service.
Woolen is now facing capital murder charges and additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
KETK spoke to local attorney Justin Roberts with Roberts & Roberts Law Firm. He says that capital murder charges in Texas carry a life sentence without parole or possibly even the death penalty, if convicted.
“The fact that he took the vehicle makes his charge much more severe,” Roberts said. “He’s only ending up with two options: life in prison without parole, or the death penalty.”
Woolen is currently being held in the Smith County Jail with bonds totaling $3.5 million. No court date has been schedule at this time.