San Antonio, Texas, October 17th, 2017: On Friday, a Bexar County jury in Impact Court found George Chapple, age 64, guilty of the murder of his wife Kathy Ryder, age 56. Jurors sentenced Chapple to life within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
On May 20, 2016, George Chapple and Kathy Ryder who had been married for approximately 4 years were home alone at 7611 Windsor Oaks in San Antonio, Texas. Chapple called 911 and reported he heard gunshots and that Ryder was shot before quickly hanging up. Responding officers testified that Chapple was calm and showed no concern for his wife at the scene. During an interview with police, Chapple originally stated that he was asleep and woke up to Ryder screaming at him because she had been shot, but he believed she was joking. As the questioning continued, Chapple admitted to being the one who actually shot Ryder. Chapple then claimed he shot his wife in self-defense and that it had been an accident. Chapple claimed that Ryder woke him up with a gun in her pocket and then pulled the gun out threatening to kill him. Chapple claimed that Ryder had been upset about another woman. Chapple claimed that Ryder had the gun and he took it from her, but then Ryder attempted to get it back from him, and spun him around somehow causing the gun to go off. During his interview Chapple was callous about Ryder’, laughing and joking.
“Think about Kathy Ryder, she is a mother and grandmother, think about that woman who is no longer with us because of the actions of that man,” said Assistant District Attorney Leo Gonzalez during closing arguments.
Assistant District Attorneys Leo Gonzalez and Marissa Giovenco from the District Attorney’s Special Crimes Division prosecuted the case against Chapple in Impact Court.
Murder is a first degree felony, punishable by 5-99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. However, due to Chapple’s criminal history, which includes two felony convictions for Burglary and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon out of Tarrant County, the range of punishment was increased to a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.