East Texas woman sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing boyfriend


NEW BOSTON, Texas (KTAL) – A woman who fatally shot her boyfriend in her home is found guilty of murder.

After the verdict, Tonya Barnett was sentenced to 25-years in prison.

Barnett told the jury she shot Cecil Ellis Jr. in the back of the head in self-defense.

But during the trial, Barnett’s story kept changing.

In the final moments leading up to the shooting, Barnett said she and Ellis Jr. had a fight over a cell phone and Ellis was shot in the back of the head.

Last week in court, a DPS investigator testified that Barnett told him she didn’t think there were bullets in the gun and she didn’t mean to kill him.

Also, a Bowie County investigator testified that Barnett told him she acted in self-defense, but authorities say Barnett kept changing her story.

Another investigator testified that a month before the incident, Barnett flagged him down while he was in uniform and asked him the difference between murder and self-defense.

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