Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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September 16, 2006

In murder case, a twist

Police: Murder suspect is 1977 prison escapee

CORSICANA — Glenn Ray Boelter, who is being held in the Navarro County Jail accused of murdering Sammie Hawkins last week is now believed to be Gary Thomas Sharron, 59, a convicted murderer from Alabama who escaped from prison in 1977.

Navarro County Sheriff’s deputies discovered Boelter’s former identity when they ran his fingerprints through the national databank. He remains in the Navarro County Jail in lieu of a $750,000 bond.

Hawkins, a former Corsicana businessman, was slain Sept. 5 in his home near Kerens.

Sharron/Boelter ran a barbecue restaurant in Seven Points and Mabank for several years under the Boelter identity, and was a regular in several bars on the lake.

“It’s kind of freaking everybody out,” said Diane Diemer, a bartender at Chap’s, where Boelter was a customer for years. “He’s not who we thought he was. We knew him as Glenn.”

Sharron, or Boelter as he was known locally, was fairly popular and got along with everyone unless he’d been drinking heavily, Diemer said.

“Occasionally, he would pick fights and stuff. He liked to play pool, and he’d get into it over that,” she said, adding: “Most of the time Glenn was a fun-loving guy.”

It was a bar fight that got Sharron into trouble back in 1973 in Russell County, Alabama.

“Yeah, I remember Gary Sharron. I went to high school with him,” said Russell County Sheriff Tommy Boswell. “He killed a guy in a bar fight a long time ago.”

Boswell remembered Sharron as a big guy, nice enough, but with a hot temper.

“He was in and out of trouble with us for a long time,” Boswell said.

Boswell, who has been an officer in Phenix City for the last 32 years, said he didn’t investigate that particular case, but he remembered it because he’d gone to school with Sharron.

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