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Woman Sentenced to Life For 2019 Slaying of Local Elderly Couple

Crime

Judge holding gavel | Image by Gorodenkoff

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A Rio Grande City woman convicted for her role in the 2019 robbery and murder of two Plano roommates was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, according to Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Deputies with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office made a traffic stop on the evening of November 17, 2019, along I-35 near Hewitt, Texas, south of Waco. Authorities said the vehicle’s driver, identified as Cynthia Wingate, 29, acted suspiciously and provided inconsistent statements about the car she was driving and where she was coming from.

Another driver, identified as Carmen Moreno, 26, pulled up in a separate vehicle and approached the deputies as they spoke with Wingate and asked if she could get Wingate’s wallet. Moreno told deputies that she was a friend of Wingate. After noticing what looked like blood stains on Moreno’s clothing, one of the deputies asked the woman where she was coming from.

After she mentioned an incident in Plano, the deputies ran checks on the two vehicles’ information. Deputies discovered that Moreno was driving a vehicle belonging to Theresa Ann Coomes, 71. Wingate was behind the wheel of a car owned by Jimmy Michael “Mike” Farris, 72.

The deputies executed a probable cause search on both vehicles and discovered two bloody knives wrapped in a grocery bag and meth in Wingate’s purse. The deputies then contacted Plano authorities to run a welfare check on Coomes and Farris.

Coomes and Farris were found dead from multiple stab wounds in the 2300 block of Pebble Vale Drive in Plano.

Plano authorities found one body covered in blood on the kitchen floor but could not immediately determine whether it was a male or female victim. The other body was bent over the side of a bathtub with the faucet still running, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

After speaking to witnesses, authorities connected Moreno and Wingate to the murders, and further investigations showed the suspects were the last people to see the victims alive.

Moreno told investigators at McClennan County that she had known Farris for a year and that Wingate had introduced them. Moreno and Wingate, who listed Moreno as her wife in court documents, had spent the previous day at the apartment with Farris and Coomes.

Moreno said she got into an argument with Farris after he asked her to shower with him. She said Farris had “rubbed her back earlier while on the bed, and she felt weird about it.” She added that she pepper-sprayed Farris in the face and left him in the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.

Moreno told investigators that she returned to the bathroom and continued arguing with Farris after he fell and hurt himself. Moreno then grabbed a hunting knife from her bag and stabbed Farris twice in the chest.

Coomes, who had been in the kitchen, saw Moreno with the knife and threatened to call the police.

Police said Moreno and Wingate considered tying Coomes up to a chair and leaving her there but did not know how to do so. Moreno then stabbed her in the throat. Moreno told investigators that she did not want to hurt Coomes.

Authorities claim Moreno and Wingate took the victims’ laptops, a wallet, cellphones, and keys before they fled the scene. The suspects were also found with credit and debit cards belonging to both victims. Moreno and Wingate apparently used the cards at several locations along southbound I-35 in the hours after the stabbings.

While police could not determine the relationship between Wingate and Farris, the 72-year-old had reported credit card abuse and car theft to Plano police in incidents dating back to 2012. In those reports, Farris listed Wingate as a suspect.

Judge George Flint sentenced Moreno to life in prison on July 14. Wingate’s case is still pending.

“Murdering even one person is unthinkable to most law-abiding citizens. But viciously stabbing to death two of our citizens just to get some quick cash is a crime worthy of life in prison,” Collin County D.A. Willis said after Moreno’s sentencing.    

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Roy Patterson
Roy Patterson
2 months ago

Why wasn’t she give the death penalty??? Seems like a perfect death penalty case.

M J
M J
Reply to  Roy Patterson
2 months ago

I’m Shocked that they didn’t! That’s a horrific murder of two innocent people

Robert
Robert
2 months ago

Texas needs to reinstate ‘the fast lane’ to the death chamber.

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