Wearing an orange and white striped jumpsuit and shackled at his wrists and ankles, suspected killer Neldon Neal appeared in Texas County Court in a rare Sunday afternoon session.
It was a brief hearing in front of Judge Brad Ellsworth, who informed Neal of his rights and set a June 20 appearance for Neal to appear with an attorney in court. Neal kept his eyes fixed on the judge for the duration of the session. He gave short “Yes, sir” replies when asked if he understood his rights and asked the judge for a public defender. Neal was supplied the paperwork by Prosecuting Attorney Mike Anderson, one of just seven people in the courtroom.
Neal, who is facing second-degree murder charges in the March 13 death of his common law wife, looked vastly different than just 24 hours earlier when he was taken to jail with a scruffy beard and abrasions on his forehead. He appeared in court clean-shaven and had no visible marks on his face.
Anderson and a sheriff’s deputy escorted Neal out of the back door of the jail and into Ellsworth’s third-story courtroom at 2:10 p.m. He was back in jail less than 15 minutes later.