Chacey Poynter, a Texas woman convicted in the 2016 murder of her husband, University Park Fire Department Captain Robert Poynter, tells her story for the first time about what happened the night he died, in an interview with Peter Van Sant for 48 HOURS: “Chacey Poynter: Witness to Murder” to be broadcast Saturday, Jan. 18 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Robert Poynter, a veteran firefighter and paramedic, was shot in the head while sitting in his wife’s Jeep, on an unmaintained county road in Royse City, Texas. His wife, Chacey Poynter, told police she’d called her husband for help after she claimed her Jeep was stuck in mud. Chacey Poynter claims when Robert Poynter got in to help move the vehicle, he was shot by a man who emerged from the dark. She told police she had no idea who fired the fatal shot.
“And, as soon as that – that shot, he slumped over into the passenger seat,” Poynter tells Van Sant. “I just wanted him to be okay.”
Her husband, however, “was dead,” she says.
From the moment police arrived at the scene, they were skeptical of Poynter’s story of what happened. Everything she told them – in breathless and halting sentences – was captured by police body cameras, including an admission that she was having problems in her marriage.
“Her story kept adding all these different twists and turns and pieces of information that just weren’t fitting in place of the puzzle,” says Royse City Police Sgt. Shane Meek.
Later, at the police station, she confessed that she did know the identity of the man who killed her husband – a lover by the name of Michael Garza.
The investigation into the murder exposed the fractured relationship between the Poynters, including a twisted plot for killing the 47-year-old firefighter, whose wife, then 29, had carried on multiple extra-marital affairs. Prosecutors maintain Poynter plotted out the murder with Garza to cash in on her husband’s life insurance policy.
“This was a clean assassination,” says Detective Michael Burk.
Poynter tells Van Sant she’s haunted by her husband’s death.
“When I’m awake, I see his face. When I’m asleep, I see it. It hurts,” she tells Van Sant. “It’s something I can’t get out of my head.”
Yet, investigators believe Poynter was the mastermind behind the mission to have her husband killed that night on the deserted road.
“Investigators believe you knew about the mission, planned the mission, to murder your husband for money,” Van Sant says.
“That’s what they say,” Poynter responds.
“Look at me, they’re right, aren’t they,” Van Sant asks.
“No, sir,” Poynter says.
48 HOURS and Van Sant investigate the murder and the murder cases against Poynter and Garza, through interviews with law enforcement officers, Robert Poynter’s daughters and his ex-wife, Chacey Poynter’s defense attorneys and the prosecutors.
48 HOURS: “Chacey Poynter: Witness to Murder” is produced by Asena Basak. Claire St. Amant is the development producer. Elizabeth Caholo is the associate producer. Mike Baluzy, Kevin Dean and Joan Adelman are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.