Philip Shue trial draws national media attention
According to Henderson, “we are evaluating this trial for a possible future show in the fall.” The two producers will remain in Boerne for the duration of the trial.
After seating a jury of four women, two men, and two female alternates the opening arguments from both sides were heard.
Jason Davis, attorney for Tracy Shue, outlined his case, suggesting that Philip Shue was a victim of foul play which resulted in his untimely death in a car crash on April 16, 2003.
Examination of Shue’s body at the scene disclosed substantial mutilation of his chest, ear, and a finger. Duct tape was also found wrapped around Shue’s wrists and ankles. Massive head trauma from the accident was the final cause of death.
Bill Ford, lead attorney for USAA, cited Justice of the Peace Nancy White’s determination of suicide as Shue’s demise. A local Grand Jury in this case ruled that there was no indication of criminal activity that lead to Shue’s death.
In a bid by Davis to have the records of the Grand Jury proceedings in this case released, Judge Bill Palmer ordered that the records be made available for this trial. District Attorney Bruce Curry vehemently fought making public the tapes and filed an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday. The Appeals’ Court granted Curry a 45 day stay and is expected to issue its ruling within that time span. For the present, attorneys in this trial will not have access to the Grand Jury records.
Col. Philip Shue’s ex-wife, Nancy Shue, held a $500,000.00 insurance policy on his life. Shue received at least two letters warning that his life was in danger. He believed that the threats were made by Nancy Shue so that she could collect the insurance proceeds.
Shue wrote to USAA Life Insurance Company and asked that they cancel the policy so that his former spouse would have no reason to murder him for money. USAA acknowledged the receipt of Shue’s request and stated that they could not cancel the policy except upon the direction of the owner of the policy, Nancy Shue. USAA advised Shue to seek legal assistance and to take the matter to authorities. Shue reported the threats to his commanding officer.
Nina Wollard, a neighbor and friend of the Shues, testified that the Kendall County Sheriff at the time, Henry Hodge, instructed Wollard to pick up Shue’s personal belongings from his wrecked car at Five Star Wrecking Company. Wollard stated that when she arrived at the wrecking yard that the Topaz’s glove box was lying on the ground, opened, and some of the contents strewn around on the ground.
When Wollard asked the attendant about the glove box, he replied that “the suits were here and they went over the car with a fine tooth comb."
Shue’s cell phone was lying on the passenger seat and Wollard picked it up with a tissue and gathered the contents of the trunk of the car and left. When she arrived home, she opened the flip-top cell phone and noted that the inside was “covered in blood.”
Dr. David Vaughan from Vaughan’s Funeral Home testified that he received a telephone call from the Kendall County Sheriff’s Department a short time after the accident requesting that he drive his hearse to the scene and pick up Shue’s body. When Vaughan arrived, he noted that Justice of the Peace Nancy White was handling the body with her bare, ungloved hands.
Vaughan stated that he “had never seen anything like this in my 42 years of experience.”
Vaughan patted down Shue’s body as required and found no wallet, no dog tags, and no identification whatsoever.
Col. Philip Shue’s bizarre and tragic death is a mystery, a mystery that will, hopefully, unravel during this trial.