Jun 18, 2013 12:31 PM by KPLC

Hearing underway in half-century-old murder case

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A hearing is underway in 14th Judicial District Court in Calcasieu Parish in the case of Felix Vail, accused in the 51-year-old death of his wife, Mary Horton Vail.

Mary Horton Vail, a Eunice native, was found dead in October 1962 in the Calcasieu River. Felix Vail claimed that she was the victim of a boating accident.

The coroner in 1962 ruled the death as an accidental drowning. The case was recently reopened and the death was ruled a homicide by Calcasieu Coroner Dr. Terry Welke.

Vail, 73, was arrested last month in Canyon Lake, Texas. He is being charged with second-degree murder in Calcasieu.

Ike Abshire, 90, is giving testimony this morning. Abshire told the court that he and Felix were friends.He says Felix rented a room from him at his home around time he started dating Mary.

Abshire said they worked together. He said Felix told him he didn't like that Mary was pregnant and didn't want a baby.

Abshire said he was like a "big brother" to the couple. He said he saw Mary, Felix and baby the Friday before Mary died on Sunday.

Mary Horton Vail, 22, was a Eunice native. She attended McNeese State University, majoring in education. At the time of her death, she was a teacher at Moss Bluff Elementary.



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