Cheating wife enlists man she was having affair with to kill her hero husband
Gentle giant Robert Poynter was a real-life hero. The veteran firefighter was retired but no one had forgotten the lives he had saved, and they still instinctively turned to him for help.
Robert, 47, had spent 19 years fighting blazes while based at the University Park firehouse near Dallas, and eventually made Captain of his crew.
He’d earned the respect of his colleagues for being able to use his physical strength in life and death situations, but also his gentle side for comforting traumatised children at the scenes.
Robert had been active in the community but also went to Louisiana in 2005 to help search for survivors in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Robert was married and had two daughters when he met Chacey Morman.
At the time, Chacey was just 20 – 12 years his junior. But he was captivated by the blonde assistant nurse and eventually left his wife for her.
The couple married in 2009, and they settled in Royce City, Texas, with their six-year-old daughter.
By 2016, Robert was retired and his seven-year marriage to Poynter was in trouble. Robert confided in friends that he had considered divorce and that Poynter, then 29, had been unfaithful with multiple men.
He’d even installed a security camera at one point and had caught Poynter out with one of her lovers.
When concerned loved ones suggested Robert leave his wife, he seemed reluctant. With a divorce already behind him, and a potential custody battle ahead, Robert wanted to make it work.
The couple even went on a holiday to Mexico in the August, but things remained strained.
On September 9, around 10.40pm, Poynter called 911 in distress from a remote country road. She said that a tall, darkly dressed man had come out of nowhere and shot her husband as he sat in her Jeep.
When first responders arrived, they found Robert slumped over the passenger seat of Poynter’s Jeep with a bullet wound in his right temple.
He was dead. Poynter was hysterical and struggling to breathe. The officers had body cameras on and recorded everything she was saying.
Poynter said she was driving to meet her husband at a local restaurant, but they had been travelling to it separately.
She explained that she’d missed her turning and taken the wrong road, which had left her on the muddy track usually used by farm vehicles. Poynter said her Jeep got stuck in the mud and she had called Robert for help.
Poynter claimed that while Robert was in the Jeep trying to get it out of the mud, a man had walked out of the shadows and shot Robert in the head.
She had no clue who the man was – or why he’d pulled a gun. Poynter said she hadn’t seen the face of the assassin and nothing had been taken.
But as Poynter kept talking, her story started to jump around, which made the police at the scene suspicious.
They were also stunned when, despite her husband having just been killed, Poynter started talking about the problems in her marriage.
‘I was young and stupid when we got married…’ she was recording saying. ‘…I didn’t want to be married anymore.’
Detectives cautioned Poynter but she continued to tell them that they were meeting at the restaurant to talk because he had been ‘trying to take my daughter away from me’.
Within an hour of being at the scene, officers already knew that Poynter and Robert’s relationship had been at crisis point. ‘I love him,’ she insisted, when she was pressed on details.
‘He’s a pain in the ass but I love him.’ The only part of the story that made sense was that Robert would have come to Poynter’s rescue.
There was no thinkable motive for anyone wanting Robert dead – but the police soon found one.
When describing where she was in the lead up to the shooting, Poynter admitted she had been visiting someone before meeting her husband. A friend called Michael Garza.
When asked if they were dating, Poynter confessed they were having an affair and she’d had sex with Michael, 39, that day.
She admitted that she had started the affair after meeting Michael on Facebook in the summer of 2016.
Astonishingly, Poynter talked herself out of being a grieving widow and into being the prime suspect.
Down at the station, Poynter was questioned some more. Why had the shooter let her escape from the scene? Why hadn’t they taken anything?
How had she not seen his face when he was just a few feet from her? But as Poynter was pushed further, the new widow finally confessed that she did know the identity of the man who had killed her husband.
It was her lover, Michael Garza. But she insisted she had no part in the killing.
Poynter tried to discredit Robert. Saying he had a temper and was on steroids which made him aggressive.
There was no evidence he was ever violent and no witnesses to back up her claims. Poynter said she’d told Garza about her husband’s anger issues and he’d agreed to ‘scare’ him.
‘I didn’t want him dead,’ Poynter said. ‘I just – I wanted him to know what it’s like to be bullied all the time. Poynter said Garza was just supposed to confront Robert.
When Garza had pulled out a gun, Poynter said she’d screamed ‘stop!’ but he hadn’t. Police weren’t convinced and, the next day,
Poynter was charged with conspiracy to murder. Her daughter was taken in by family.
A SWAT team raided truck driver Garza’s home, but he was gone. But the next day, he handed himself in and was charged with murder.
While they were both in custody, a farmer found the shotgun in a field less than a mile from where Robert was killed. Records showed it belonged to Garza’s brother.
There were still so many questions. Had Garza acted alone to be with the woman he was obsessed with? Had Poynter manipulated him to murder for her?
Meanwhile, Captain Robert Poynter had the funeral of a hero. His former colleagues turned out from across Texas and lined the way in his honour.
His death came as a huge shock as his career had been fraught with so many risks yet he’d made it to retirement.
In July 2018, Garza faced trial. He’d pleaded not guilty to murder. In fact, he claimed he’d given Poynter the gun and she had been the one who’d pulled the trigger.
Garza said he was at the family farm at the time of the shooting, attending to a sick animal.
The jury didn’t believe him. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 99 years. Poynter was up next.
In 2019, Poynter faced a jury. The prosecution said Garza was a pawn and Poynter had played him with sex and lies.
Garza wasn’t the only man she was sleeping with – she had arranged to have sex with another man later that day.
The prosecution said she had tried to manipulate other men into killing Robert, but Garza had been the one who had agreed.
They said Poynter had been pushed into action because Robert had reached out to a divorce lawyer on Facebook and had sent the message: ‘I’m thinking of a surprise attack.’
It was likely that he was going to file for divorce, sell the house and fight for custody of their daughter. But there was another motive: money.
Robert had a life insurance policy that was worth £685,000. Prosecutors said she hoped Robert would die from an accident so she’d get the money and when that didn’t happen, she planned his murder.
At the trial, Poynter painted Robert as a violent and abusive husband. No one backed up her claims.
Poynter said she only wanted Garza to talk to Robert and explain they were going to live together. But the night before the murder, she sent Garza a text that read: ‘I can’t love you unless Robert is out of the picture.’
There were thousands of text messages between Poynter and Garza – as well as other men.
She made out to her lovers that Robert was a threat to her and suggested that she needed him ‘gone’.
The defence said Poynter’s affairs were wrong – but they didn’t make her a killer. Poynter didn’t take the stand but the jury did hear the recorded police videos.
At one point she put her head in her hands and said: ‘Oh no. What have I done?’
After a two-week trial, Poynter, 32, was found guilty of capital murder. She was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole. Garza has appealed his conviction and still claims he is innocent.
It was a case full of sex and lies but at the heart of it all was a woman who was willing to do anything to get what she wanted.