Through her mother’s persistence, man charged for 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old woman

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“I know she’s dead. But what happened? What really happened?”

That is the question that has been going through Cindy Walter’s head since January 25, 2016 when she found out her daughter, Bethany Walters, died. 

“Cindy’s daughter, Bethany was living in a house with her boyfriend at the time, Michael Guillory. That night Bethany was shot once in the head and killed instantly. At that time, Michael ran across the street to his parents house to tell them that she had shot herself and committed suicide,” explained John Tilly, Cindy’s attorney.

When Bethany was found, officials with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office said her cause of death was undetermined; they weren’t sure if it was a suicide or a homicide. For Bethany’s mother, that answer was not enough.

Tilly said immediately after Bethany was shot, Guillory got away in her car and was found several parishes away. He was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm. A firearm that, according to Tilly, was connected to Bethany’s death.

Now, more than three years later and still behind bars, Guillory is being charged with Bethany’s murder.

Tilly says investigators would not have gotten to this point, had it not been for Mrs. Walters’ determination to find out what happened to her daughter that night.

In the past three years, she hired her own medical examiner to provide an autopsy, hired professionals to run ballistics reports, among other things to determine her daughter’s cause of death.

They presented what they found to the St. Landry parish Sheriff’s Office. That’s when the 2nd degree murder warrant was written for Guillory.

“It’s a hard reality to find out your child is dead, but it’s an even harder reality that they took their own life. And I knew. My gut told me ‘until you can prove to me that this occurred…’ You’re telling me that you’re unable to prove it either way. This is my daughter. This is not a collegue. I’m going to champion my child and I’m going to find out until the day I die what happened to her. Because I deserve that,” said Walters. 

Guillory’s bond hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 23.
 

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