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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:  April 9, 2015

 

Tennessee man convicted in 2000 cold case murder sentenced to state prison


Gary Bell (Booking Photo)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A Tennessee man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison for the cold case murder of 24-year-old Louis Horner.

Last month, a jury found 59-year-old Gary Bell guilty of murder.

In May 2000, the victim was found dead of a gunshot wound on the side of Hodge Road outside of Victorville. His car was later found abandoned in San Bernardino.

At the time, a known associate, Gary Bell, denied any involvement.

“A fresh look at the case years later pulled up a cigarette butt in the car,” said Deputy District Attorney Denise Yoakum, who is assigned to the Cold Case Unit.

According to Yoakum, in 2014, investigators assigned to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Cold Case Team located Bell in Tennessee and obtained an admission of being with the victim in his car and obtained a DNA sample.

“Thanks to advances in DNA technology and the work of the Sheriff’s Department, we were able to match Mr. Bell’s DNA to the cigarette butt, as well as his fingerprints,” said Yoakum.

In a Victim Impact Statement submitted to the court, the victim’s friend, David Phoebus, said: “Not only was Louis a very close friend of mine, but he was also a father to a little boy, a son, a brother and had many friends who cared for him. To this very day I still grieve for the loss of my friend, and how his life would be today had he been given the chance to live it. I know his family and his son feel the same way, and that pain will never go away for them. I could go on and on about how the senseless death of Louis has affected my life and others in a negative way, but this will not bring him back to us.”



Contacts: Christopher Lee, Public Affairs Officer (909) 382-3665






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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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