A jury this week is hearing the first murder case in Galveston County since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered courts and brought trials to a halt earlier this year.

Byron Eugene Coleman, 41, of La Marque, is charged with one count of murder in connection to the shooting death of Brandy Rhines in 2018.

Closing arguments for the trial are set for today, with the jury to go into deliberations shortly after, Chief Assistant District Attorney Adam Poole said.

Rhines was found dead in her La Marque home in January 2018 from gunshot wounds.

Officers had received a call about a possible disturbance and arrived on the scene, where a relative told police Rhines wasn’t breathing, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Officers at the scene said Rhines appeared to have been shot several times, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Family members in 2018 told The Daily News Coleman and Rhines were previously in a dating relationship and that she had been trying to end it.

Coleman was detained at the scene and later charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, records show.

The relative told police that Coleman had arrived at her house in the morning with a gash on his face asking for medical attention, according to the affidavit.

The relative said she saw Coleman had a gold-and-tan pistol in his pocket and left her house in his vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


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