Eyewitness testifies against Thomas in preliminary hearing

On Nov. 10, Coryon Thomas allegedly shot his stepmom's boyfriend once in the side.

Thomas is either being charged with murder in the first degree or alternative manslaughter in the first degree.

On Jan. 8, Thomas and his lawyer, Virginia Banks, filed a motion of certification as a juvenile and as a youthful offender.

Thomas has been held at the Garfield County Juvenile Detention Center in Enid while he awaits his next court date, held on Jan. 15.

Judge Katherine Thomas continued the preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. on Jan. 15.

The state called witness Brittany Lynn Gentzler to testify against Thomas.

Gentzler had said that she thought Mandrale Henry and Thomas had a good relationship and she had no idea why he would do this.

“As far as I know they were close, they watched TV together and played XBox,” Gentzler said.

Gentzler recalled the night of the alleged incident. She said she remembered waking up in the middle of the night to feed her eight-month-old baby.

When she got back to bed, she noticed another woman texting Henry. She said she was angry by what she saw. 

Gentzler woke Henry up and confronted him. The two began to argue, causing the children in the house to wake up.

At this point, Gentzler admitted to being angry and loud. She said two of her children asked her to calm down and followed her around the house.

During the commotion, Gentzler said Coryon was asleep on the couch in the living room. She wasn’t sure when he woke up.

Gentzler testified that she went to her bedroom to grab Henry’s car keys to leave since Henry refused to vacate the premises. She still had Henry’s cellphone in her hand.

Once she walked to the edge of their driveway, she said she changed her mind about leaving and headed back inside, going to her room and bursting into tears.

Gentzler said that was when Henry followed her into the bedroom and put the baby on the bed. According to Gentzler’s testimony, Henry wasn’t physical with her during the altercation.

She said that one of the kids went into the room to get the baby and that they were all in the hallway outside her bedroom door.

“I turned to look at Mandrale, it wasn’t many seconds. I looked back at the doorway and Coryon had a gun,” Gentzler said.

She said in court that it happened fast and the gun wasn’t loud. She said there was maybe 10 feet between Thomas and Henry.

During the cross examination, Banks asked Gentzler if she had spoken to the kids before they went to the police station after the incident. She stated she had not.

Banks then asked her if it would surprise her if the children told officers that Henry and Gentzler had a violent relationship. She replied yes, it would surprise her.

Banks asked Gentzler about a hole in the wall at their residence. She stated Henry had done that when he was upset. Gentzler told the court Thomas asked about the hole in the wall when it occurred. She told him what had happened, but that she didn’t talk to Thomas about her relationship with Henry.

Both sides rested around 10:20 a.m. The witness was excused to leave the courtroom.

The court ordered the certification studies to be completed by Feb. 21.

Judge Thomas orders the preliminary hearing be set to continue at 9 a.m. on Feb. 26.

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