Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

May 23, 2011

DeLeon murder trial begins today

Cooke County — Jury selection in the trial of Felix DeLeon — a Dallas man accused of the 1992 murder of Robert Contreras — is set to start today in 235th District Court of Cooke County.

Contreras’ body was discovered April 16, 1992 on Interstate 35, near mile marker 494, west of what is now Gainesville High School.

Cooke County District Attorney Janice Warder said Contreras had been stabbed to death and that investigators now believe he was killed in Dallas and dumped in the Gainesville area.

“Later investigation revealed that the murder likely took place on April 7,” Warder said. “We believe the body was dumped there and had probably been there about a week or so.”

She also noted that the Contreras murder has been a cold case for approximately 17 years.

Although the murder is believed to have taken place in Dallas County, Cooke County prosecutors got the case.

“The reason, (DeLeon is) being tried here is that the only county that had jurisdiction all these years was Cooke County,” she said, adding that Cooke County Sheriff Mike Compton, then a state trooper, was the first law enforcement officer on the scene.

The Cooke County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers investigated the case.

“It was ultimately Chris Clark, a Texas Ranger, who solved this cold case,” she said. “(The trial) is going to be interesting.”

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