Woman Found Dead In Trunk Of Burned-Out Car Was Beaten, Bound

Steven Barker and Gwendolyn Greene (Jail photos)

COPPERAS COVE (April 11, 2011)—Copperas Cove teenager Gwendolyn Inez Greene told investigators that she struck her mother during an argument, knocked her down, kicked her, beat her about the head with a lead pipe and that she and her boyfriend then bound the 57-year-old woman before placing her in the trunk of a car, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Monday.

Gwendolyn Greene, 19, and the man she identified as her fiancée, Steve Edwin Barker, 31, both of Copperas Cove, were arrested Friday and charged in the death of her mother Catherine Jackson Greene.

Police found the older woman’s body in the trunk of a burned out car after a fiery rollover Thursday on a rural Coryell County road.

Barker and Gwendolyn Greene were injured in the crash and were flown to Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

They were arrested after they were discharged on Friday.

Gwendolyn Greene, who police say is a Copperas Cove High School student, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon-serious bodily injury and family violence

Barker was charged with aggravated kidnapping

They were ordered held in lieu of bonds of $500,000 each.

The silver Honda Accord in which Greene and Barker were riding rolled over twice and burst into flames at around 4:15 p.m. Thursday on Lutheran Church Road seven miles northwest of Copperas Cove.

Investigators said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and was swerving before it crashed.

Gwendolyn Greene called 911 at least twice after the accident and told a dispatcher that Barker had been ejected and that her mother was in the trunk, according to the affidavit.

When Copperas Cove firefighters arrived at the accident scene in response to a 911 call from Greene, both victims were already out of the car, authorities said.

After dousing the flames, firefighters opened the trunk of the burned-out car and discovered a body, which was burned beyond recognition.

Catherine Greene’s hands and feet were bound, authorities said, but it wasn’t clear Monday whether the woman was alive before the crash Thursday afternoon.

Her body was sent to Dallas for an autopsy.

Copperas Cove police, Coryell County sheriff's deputies and Texas Rangers are investigating the death.

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