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Mt Pleasant Man Charged With Murder Of Man Who Died In Fire

From the Titus County Sheriff’s Office

During the early morning hours of November 26, 2021, a suspicious house fire on the 100-Block of County Road 3070 claimed the life of 75-year-old Gary Doyle Strawn. Strawn, a disabled military veteran, reportedly became aware that his residence was on fire. He selflessly took time to wake up his sleeping granddaughter and her friend, who was spending the night, in time for the two girls to escape the residence before it was too late. However, Strawn could not make it out of the house and died before anyone could get him.

Titus County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and an Investigator were called to the scene since the fire resulted in someone’s death. Investigators discovered possible indications that someone may have intentionally set the fire. The Texas State Fire Marshalls were also called to the scene the following day to inspect the remains of the residence.

Titus County Sheriff’s Investigators intensely looked into the circumstances surrounding Strawn’s death throughout the weeks to come and developed probable cause for the arrest of a suspect.

On Wednesday, December 22, Sheriff’s Investigators sought and obtained an arrest warrant for 26-year-old Mercer Bejorg McCoo, Jr., of Mount Pleasant for the Murder of Gary Strawn. McCoo was arrested on the 200-Block of Gibson Street in Mount Pleasant without incident and booked into the Titus County Jail, where he awaits arraignment for the First Degree Felony offense.

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