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Kilgore man charged in teen's shooting death

By Reese Gordon rgordon@news-journal.com
Oct. 6, 2013 at 11 p.m.


KILGORE - A Kilgore man faces a murder charge after police say he fatally shot a 17-year-old Hallsville girl at his home.

Coby Ray Hudgins, 22, was arrested early Sunday morning after witnesses said he shot and killed Kayla Elizabeth Williams at his home in the 3000 block of Mustang Drive, according to Kilgore police.

Hudgins' family members declined to comment Sunday on his arrest but insisted the shooting was accidental.

Assistant Kilgore Police Chief Roman Roberson said Williams was dead when police arrived late Saturday at Hudgins' home.

Roberson said Hudgins left before police arrived at the residence. The man was detained by DPS troopers following a wreck on FM 2087 and charged with DWI.

Roberson said an investigation by the Kilgore police Criminal Investigation Unit led to Hudgins being charged with murder.

Gregg County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Arthur Fort said Sunday that Hudgins was intoxicated with a blood alcohol content level of .15 when he was detained.

Fort, who pronounced Williams dead at 4 a.m. Sunday, said the girl died instantly from an apparent gunshot wound to the head at about 9:20 p.m. Saturday.

Neighbor Judy Jacobs said she was shocked to hear Hudgins had been arrested in connection with the shooting.

"I knew him," she said. "A little but not a lot. He was a good kid. The cops have been to other people's houses but not to his."

After hearing about the shooting, Jacobs said she went to Hudgins' home to feed his dog and was shaken by what she saw.

"I asked (Hudgins' mother) if there was anything I could do, and she told me no," Jacobs said. "Then I looked down and saw the blood and I came home. I don't like to see people die. That was my thought."

Jacobs, who lives with her daughter, Tejuana, and three grandchildren, said she has lived in the neighborhood off Mustang Drive for more than 30 years. She said this is the first shooting during that time she's aware of in her neighborhood.

"It's a scary feeling when something like that happens that close to your home," Tejuana Jacobs said.

Jacobs' son, James Goff, 11, said he goes to school with Hudgins' younger brother, but he knew Hudgins well.

"He would come over here and we'd play Xbox," Goff said.

Hudgins is being held in the Gregg County Jail on $101,000 bond on the two charges.

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