Italy Police arrested the person believed responsible for the murder of a 59-year-old man ten months to the day of his death.
Terrance Deal, 28, is alleged to have shot and killed Richard Earl Wilson, 59, in the backyard of his Italy home on July 13, 2018.
Wilson was found dead in his backyard of an apparent gunshot wound shortly after officers were dispatched at 6:15 p.m. to the 700 block of Williams Street. The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office later concluded the death was a homicide.
The department, under the leadership of then-chief Mike Taylor, first identified a person of interest in August 2018. Taylor stated the family issued a $4,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest and conviction at that time, as well.
Now-Italy Police Chief Scott Peters previously stated several residents reported hearing a gunshot around the suspected time of the incident, though investigators did not believe anyone else was at home at the time. The house did not have a call history with the Italy Police Department.
Italy police made the arrest on Monday at the Hubbard Police Department where Deal was asked to come in for questioning, Peters said.
"We called him on the phone and he turned himself in at the police station," Peters said. "We didn't tell him we had an arrest warrant. We just told him we needed to talk to him."
When Deal got to the Hubbard police station, Italy police were waiting and made the arrest at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
"We had probable cause to believe he committed the offense," Peters said regarding Deal's arrest. "It was a long investigation."
Peters explained that the department is still gathering information to file with the Ellis County and District Attorney's Office.
"We wouldn't have arrested him if we didn't feel we had a strong case," Peters noted. He noted two reserve officers are working on the case and have invested about 100 hours over the past month.
"They are very dedicated to the job and without them, we probably wouldn't be as far along as we are now," Peters said.
The Ellis County Sheriff's Office, Texas Rangers and the Hubbard Police Department assisted during the investigation.
According to online arrest records, Deal has previously been arrested for an convicted in either Hillsboro and/or Hubbard for resisting arrest, search or transport, possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana, bail jumping and failure to appear, tampering with physical evidence with the intent to appear, and possession of less than one gram of a Grade 1 controlled substance.
Deal is being held at the Ellis County Jail on a $1 million bond.
This is a developing article and will be updated as information becomes available.
*This article was updated throughout to include new information on the arrest and quotes from Peters.