It took a jury less than 30 minutes to sentence Bobby Guillory, 55, to life in prison for his role in the slayings of an Arlington couple targeted in a 2012 murder-for-hire plot.
Guillory and his then-teenage nephew, Willie Guillory, were hired to kill the couple by a purveyor of witchcraft, Dephne Wright, 46, of Houston, evidence showed. Wright was approached by a relative of the victims to remove a curse from the family business, and from there she launched a plan, according to David Alex, Tarrant County prosecutor.
Wright’s own business was failing and she owed people money, Bobby Guillory told police.
“Wright was mad at the family because they owed her money and she said I want the money or I want them dead,” Alex said during his closing arguments on Thursday.
Guillory told a now retired Arlington detective during a recorded interview the jury heard Wednesday that Wright promised to pay $10,000 for the murders. Guillory said later that the deaths were accidental.
Prosecutors argued that nothing Guillory did on the night of the murders was by accident.
A family member provided a key to the victims’ apartment and Wright gave that key to Guillory, according to evidence presented at trial. Insurance beneficiaries inherited more than $1 million after the deaths, Alex said.
Wright sent Guillory and his nephew to kill the husband and wife on June 10, 2012, in their apartment in the 3600 block of Waverly Drive, according to authorities. Willie Guillory was 16 at the time.
Police found the bodies of Long Nguyen, 72, and his wife, Huong Ly, 63, inside their bedroom closet, beaten, bound and gagged with duct tape. Nguyen and Ly suffocated.
“These people died in one of the coldest ways possible; and there are people who are going to pay for that. Today is Bobby Guillory’s day,” Alex said.
Nguyen was celebrating his birthday on June 10, 2012, with family, and Guillory said all he wanted to do was look around for an hour, find some money and leave. It was rumored that Ly was known to carry as much as $5,000 in her purse and that the family had money hidden throughout the house, Guillory told Arlington Det. Byron Stewart.
A search of the house yielded only $100, Guillory told Stewart.
But investigators discovered that Guillory purchased a new truck after the murders and also had an unexplained $1,000 deposited into his bank account, Alex said during closing arguments.
The apartment where the bodies were found had marijuana and other drugs strewn about, and a blue bandana tied around a beer bottle had been left on the table.
“It looked like young thugs killed two people and then had a gang party,” Alex said.
But the party scene was staged to throw law enforcement off the scent of the true suspects, Alex said.
Prosecutors presented evidence that showed that DNA matched to a cigar wrapper found at the murder scene was traced back to Willie Guillory. After arresting and interviewing Willie Guillory, police arrested Bobby Guillory. After arresting and interviewing Bobby Guillory, police arrested Wright.
Three years after the murders he was accused of took place, Bobby Guillory told police he had injured his neck and was a broken man. He said he could not hold a job, could not perform sexually and was losing his home.
“I felt less than a man,” he said.
Wright was a mystic based in Houston who advertised her talents on the internet as Dmc Spiritual Healing and Guidance, according to authorities.
Guillory, who was married at the time, and Wright had an affair, Guillory told to the investigator.
“Dephne made me feel like she loved me and then she used me,” Guillory said. “She set me up.”
Guillory also told the investigator that the couple was bound and gagged to keep Nguyen and Ly quiet and to stop them from struggling. But the tape covered both their noses and their mouths, preventing Nguyen and Ly from breathing. Guillory explained that he accidentally applied the tape incorrectly in his rush to leave the victims’ apartment and out of fear.
“I felt bad about that,” Guillory told police. “I really just thought I had put the tape over their mouth. The intention was not to kill. I was scared.”
Guillory’s niece, Barbara Guillory, 37, said outside the courtroom that Willie Guillory told her children about the murders months before anyone was arrested. Willie Guillory had some mental challenges and no one believed him, Barbara Guillory said.
Bobby Guillory is “one of those people who’s a coward but he’s a bully,” Barbara Guillory said. “He would slap Willie around and be really abusive to him and Willie would cower. ... He’s a child so Willie didn’t know any better.”
Trials for Willie Guillory and Wright are pending.