A Cooke County jury handed Dallas resident Felix DeLeon a sentence of two to 20 years in a Texas penitentiary Friday after finding DeLeon guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the April 1992 death of Robert Contreras, also a Dallas resident.
DeLeon is believed to have killed Contreras in Dallas and dumped the victim’s body in Cooke County. Contreras’ remains were found near mile marker 949 close to what is now Gainesville High School.
The case went unsolved for 17 years. Cooke County District Attorney Janice Warder credits Texas Ranger Chris Clark with solving the case.
DeLeon was tried in Gainesville because his victim was found in Cooke County, Warder noted.
“The only county that had jurisdiction all these years was Cooke County,” she said in a previous interview.
Cooke County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Rangers investigated the case.
Warder — who was the lead prosecutor in the case — said the two week DeLeon trial offered a few surprises including a defense witness who falsely claimed to be a member of the Fort Worth police gang unit.
Despite the long wait between the murder and the verdict, Warder said she believes jurors made the right decision.
“Justice delayed was not justice denied,” she said.
Warder was assisted by First Assistant District Attorney Ron Poole.
Attorneys Brook Busbee and Lalon Peale represented DeLeon.