Gatesville: Former Preacher Seeks Delay In Capital Murder Trial

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email
A former Gatesville preacher who is set to stand trial for capital murder in his wife’s fiery death was in court Wednesday seeking a delay.

David Allen (Jail photo)

GATESVILLE (October 31, 2012)-A former Gatesville preacher who is charged with capital murder in his wife’s fiery death was seeking Wednesday to have his trial delayed.

David Allen is charged in the March 22, 2011 death of his wife Paula in a house fire.

Prosecutors already said they will not seek the death penalty.

Allen was set for trial on Dec. 3 in Judge Trent Farrell's 52nd District Court,. but his attorneys on Wednesday presented a motion for continuance to delay that start.

Farrell, after a hearing that lasted about an hour, said he would take the matter under advisement.

Attorneys from the West Texas Regional Public Defenders For Capital Cases, based in Lubbock, are defending Allen.

District Attorney David Castillo was not immediately available for comment.

Allen remains in the Coryell County Jail in lieu of $700,000 bond.

He was indicted in February, accused of setting the fire deliberately, using a flammable accelerant.

Paula Allen, 54, was found dead just inside the front door of a mobile home behind the New Life Church of Restoration just east of Gatesville.

The church has since changed its name.

An initial autopsy report showed Paula Allen died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns.

David Allen was able to escape the flames that morning, but said he was overcome by smoke as he tried to rescue his wife.

He reported he was asleep in the living room and his wife was asleep in a bedroom when the fire broke out just after 1 a.m. on March 22, 2011.

Coryell County Justice of the Peace Coy Latham said earlier Allen reported that he awoke to the flames, jumped out of a living room window and ran around the mobile home to try to save his wife, who he said was in a back bedroom.

Gatesville Fire Chief Billy Vaden said firefighters tried to get into the back of the mobile home to find the woman, but the roof caved in before they could make entry.

David Allen did not require medical attention.

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