Double Homicide Suspect in Cold Case Appointed an Attorney Wednesday


SAN ANGELO, TX—The person of interest in the 1988 San Angelo cold case double murder of Shane Stewart and Sally McNelly was in the Tom Green County Courthouse Wednesday for a post indictment reporting for unrelated charges.  

John Cyrus Gilbreath, 47, was arrested during a traffic stop in June.  He is charged with unlawful possession of metal or body armor by a felon, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.  

Texas Rangers, Tom Green County Sheriff’s Deputies and other members of law enforcement searched Gilbreath’s home looking for drug trafficking evidence.  According to court documents, law enforcement officers found writings specific to the double homicide and physical evidence including hair, blood and finger nails that could be potential evidence in the 1988 double murder.  

Stewart and McNelly were last seen attending a fireworks show at Lake Nasworthy on July 4, 1988.  Their bodies were found later at Twin Buttes Reservoir.  Both had gunshot wounds.  

San Angelo attorney Kirk Hawkins was appointed Gilbreath’s attorney in the firearms, body armor and drug charges.

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