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Capital murder trial set for man charged with killing Wichita Falls dance teacher

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Wichita Falls police conducted an evidentiary search warrant on a home on Wenonah Boulevard as shown in this Feb. 4, 2020, file photo. They found the weapon believed to have been used to kill Carolyn High Jan. 26, 2020, during a robbery at her home.

Wichita Falls police conducted an evidentiary search warrant on a home on Wenonah Boulevard as shown in this Feb. 4, 2020, file photo. They found the weapon believed to have been used to kill Carolyn High Jan. 26, 2020, during a robbery at her home.

One of four men suspected of banding together in the robbery and killing of popular Wichita Falls dance instructor Carolyn Sue High is set for trial Jan. 23 on a capital murder charge.

Zaeveion Zuiqae Denson, 20, approached High in her driveway in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, 2020, with a gun and demanded her purse, according to allegations in court documents. High resisted and was shot.

Denson and his alleged accomplices, Shane Allen Diaz, Jiovani Morales and Shaundre D’yon Ransom, are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity-capital murder in connection with the 65-year-old’s killing.

More:Killer’s brother gets probation for hiding the murder weapon. It was never found.

They were all teenagers ranging from 17 to 19 at the time of her death. The four men have pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Before High was killed, Denson, Diaz, Morales and Ransom were driving around looking for someone to rob when they saw her in her driveway, according to allegations in court records.

Carolyn High, center, was remembered fondly by those inspired by her instruction and love of dance. High was discovered Jan. 26, 2020, lying dead in a Wichita Falls driveway. Stephanie Medenwaldt, left, owner of Dance Etc., and her mother, Beckie Wirmel, surround High in this treasured photo.

Carolyn High, center, was remembered fondly by those inspired by her instruction and love of dance. High was discovered Jan. 26, 2020, lying dead in a Wichita Falls driveway. Stephanie Medenwaldt, left, owner of Dance Etc., and her mother, Beckie Wirmel, surround High in this treasured photo.

Denson held a gun up to High and demanded her purse, according to allegations in court records. Ransom told police he and Denson had a confrontation with High, and she was shot. They took her purse and left.

Police responded to High’s home in the 3500 block of Cumberland Avenue about 4 p.m. Jan. 27, 2020, after her daughter discovered her lying unresponsive in the driveway.

Denson was being held Friday in the Wichita County Law Enforcement Center on a $1.5 million bond for the capital murder charge and a $50,000 bond for a charge related to recent allegations, according to online jail records.

He is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity-aggravated assault in connection with an attack Oct. 31 on another inmate in the Law Enforcement Center, allegations in court records show. The first-degree felony is punishable by up to life in prison.

Diaz, 19, was being held Friday on a reduced bond of $250,000 for the murder charge in the Law Enforcement Center, online jail records show.

Ransom, 21, remained in jail Friday on a $1.5 million bond for the murder charge, a $10,000 bond for a probation revocation case involving an alleged threat at a high school and a $2,500 bond for a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in connection with a Dec. 1, 2019, incident, according to online jail and court records.

Prosecutors are seeking have Ransom’s probation revoked for a terroristic threat charge. He is accused of threatening on Jan. 22, 2019, to bring a gun to Hirschi High School to kill his teacher and classmates, according to allegations in court documents.

Ransom pleaded guilty to the charge. Then a judge delayed finding him guilty, allowing Ransom to avoid a felony conviction if he successfully served his term of deferred-adjudication probation. The felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

More:Ten years after killing, a Wichita Falls man is set to go on trial

Morales, 21, was being held Friday in the Law Enforcement Center on a $1.5 million bond for the murder charge and a $100,000 bond for an aggravated robbery charge in connection with a Dec. 9, 2019, incident, according to online jail records.

Police say he and an accomplice menaced a clerk with their guns at a 7-Eleven in the 1200 block of Loop 11 during a robbery, according to allegations in court documents.

Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news and more. Contact Trish with news tips at [email protected] Read her recent work here. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: One of four men accused of killing 65-year-old woman set for trial

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