More than a year after the bodies of Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson were discovered next to a Dumpster behind a Bolivar convenience store, the man charged with moving their bodies has also been indicted on a capital murder charge for their deaths.
The couple, both 24, had been together for about two years when they were found brutally murdered in March 2014, as we wrote in our January cover story.
A Galveston County grand jury indicted Britney's father, James Larry Cosby, 47, on Tuesday on a single capital murder charge for multiple deaths, according to Kevin Petroff, first assistant district attorney with the Galveston County District Attorney's Office. Cosby has been in the Galveston County Jail since March 2014, when he was indicted on two counts of tampering with evidence because authorities believed he moved the bodies to a Dumpster behind a Bolivar convenience store. He's now being held on a $300,000 bond.
Britney and Crystal lived together taking care of Britney's great-grandmother, Annie Lee Cosby, in a small house in Sunnyside. Britney's father moved into the house after he was released from prison in late 2013, and he and his daughter reportedly didn't get along. Still, it's unclear what exactly sparked the conflict that authorities believe ended in murder. Some, including the family of both Britney and Crystal, have said they believe Cosby killed his daughter and her girlfriend because they were gay. Quanell X, who briefly acted as a spokesman for the Cosby family in the first weeks after the murders, stood before TV cameras and claimed that the murders were religiously motivated "honor killings" because Cosby had a Koran in his bedroom.
Investigators, meanwhile, have dismissed the "honor killing" theory, saying Cosby had a Koran but also a Bible, and that Cosby was allegedly upset that Britney wouldn't let him borrow her new car and that the couple got a bedroom with a door on it while he had to sleep on a couch. As Capt. Barry Cook with the Galveston Sheriff's Office told us in January, no one but Cosby knows what actually triggered the fight that erupted into violence in March 2014: "These are the things we know. He had resentment. They had a better life. They were being treated differently at that house. He didn't agree with their lifestyle, but neither did the Jacksons. Were they killed for being gay? Who knows? He's the only one who knows and he's not talking."
Britney and Crystal disappeared in early March 2014, along with Britney's new car. The two were found dead on March 7, 2014. Britney had been beaten to death, and Crystal had been shot. The car was recorded on the Bolivar ferry the night before the bodies were found.
During the initial investigation, authorities found a wooden shutter with a bloody thumbprint on it propped up next to the Dumpster where the bodies were found. It matched the shutters on the green and white house where the family lived in Sunnyside. Then investigators found blood on the patio of the house, evidence that the driveway had been recently and scrupulously cleaned and large blood stains in the converted living room Cosby used as a bedroom. Police eventually found the car in a Houston impound lot. It was spattered with blood.
Cosby was arrested shortly after the murders when investigators found enough evidence to charge him with having moved the bodies. Cook told us in January that he and his team had a lot of "good circumstantial evidence" that tied Cosby to the killings but they wanted to make the case for murder charges as solid as possible before handing it over to prosecutors.
“We've been working on this a long time, and I have to say the sheriff's office has been working this ever since the bodies were found," Petroff told us. " We're happy with the indictment and we're absolutely prepared to prosecute this case to the full extent of the law." Petroff says the DA's office won't know for a while whether they'll be seeking the death penalty in the case. "It's a long process to see if the death penalty is warranted."
After working more than a year on the case, Cook says they're all just glad to see it moving forward.
"We feel good about [the indictment]. Now we wait for the trial and see how it plays out."
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