Jury convicts Hemphill man of murder as search continues for no-show defendant

A search is underway in Hemphill for a murder suspect who failed to show up for the third day...
A search is underway in Hemphill for a murder suspect who failed to show up for the third day of his trial.(Sevrin Lavenstein)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 9:44 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 9:56 PM CST
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HEMPHILL, Texas (KTRE) - A Sabine County jury found a Hemphill man guilty of murder Thursday afternoon as law enforcement continues to search for Matthew Edgar after he failed to show up at the third day of his trial.

The verdict came down just after 4 p.m. Thursday. The punishment phase starts Friday. Law enforcement continue to search for Edgar.

David Hendry with the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed troopers are assisting Sabine County Sheriff’s Office in the search for Matthew Edgar. Edgar, who is standing trial in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Livye Lewis, was scheduled back in court Thursday morning but never appeared. A search began shortly after the trial was expected to resume.

Matthew Edgar walks out of court on day 2 of his murder trial on Jan. 26. On Jan. 27, he did...
Matthew Edgar walks out of court on day 2 of his murder trial on Jan. 26. On Jan. 27, he did not show up for court, and a search was underway.(KTRE/SevrinLavenstein)

“He is currently a fugitive, and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife are actively currently searching for him,” said Joseph MacDonough, an investigator with Sabine County Sheriff’s Office.

A large law enforcement presence is staged near the Hemphill BBQ located on Old Sabinetown Road. Law enforcement officers are on the ground searching the vicinity with K9 officers, and a search helicopter and drones are assisting in the search by air.

“The Texas Rangers are here, Lufkin [Police Department] responded to the scene with their SWAT team, we also have the Texas Department of Public Safety Crisis Negotiation Unit on its way,” Hendry said. “We have a lot of people out here working in a combined effort to help bring this scene to a close.”

This is a developing story.

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