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Jury finds Tyler man guilty of 1999 cold case murder

Monday, October 22, 2012 - 5:33pm

A Smith County jury has found a Tyler man guilty of murder in a local cold case going back to 1999.

Shams Emil Masters,34, was found guilty of killing William Thomas Young, Jr., who was 18 at the time. Masters was 20 when he shot Young.

The sentencing phase of the trial will begin at 5 p.m. Judge Christi Kennedy is the presiding judge.

Smith County Sheriff's Office officials made the breakthrough back on April 26.

William Thomas Young, Jr., was killed back in 1999, but mystery remained behind his death. Authorities suspected Shams Emil Masters, 33, of murdering Young, but did not have enough evidence to charge him with murder.

However, Masters was taken into custody at the time of Young's death for possession of methamphetamine, which law enforcement found on him. He received a 6-year prison term.

Young was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on February 18, 1999. He was found dead in the the southern region of Smith County off Noonday Road at the Woodlands Estates Subdivision.

Masters was being held at the Federal Correctional Institute in Florence, Colorado, for bank robbery until his release date on January 8, 2024, but was extradited to Smith County to face murder charges.

According to WFAA, Masters, A.K.A. "Goose" for his resemblance to the Top Gun character, is responsible for five bank robberies in 2009. He was eventually arrested by the Ft. Worth Police Department.

Officials say witnesses played a crucial role in getting to this point.

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