Tyler murder suspect said he cooked victim's ear

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    Sheriff: Tyler murder suspect said he cooked victim's ear

    [/SIZE] [SIZE=+1]Police say man killed girlfriend, then summoned his mother[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]12:39 AM CST on Monday, January 7, 2008

    [/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]LEE HANCOCK / The Dallas Morning News
    [/SIZE] TYLER, Texas – Cannibalism may have been involved in a murder discovered here after a man summoned his mother to "see what he had done."
    She saw his girlfriend's body in the back seat of his pickup, authorities said.
    The suspect, Christopher Lee McCuin, called 911 on Saturday morning and calmly described murdering his girlfriend and cooking her ear, said Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith.
    The 24-year-old sheetrock hauler surrendered after a brief standoff at his mother's home.
    Deputies found a human ear boiling in a stovetop pan and raw flesh on a nearby plate, with a fork stuck in it.
    "Either he was going to eat it, had been eating it, or that's what he wanted it to look like," Sheriff Smith said Sunday. "I'm not shocked anymore – surprised that people can do such horrible things to each other – but not shocked. I've seen it all.
    "This isn't the worst we've had," he said. "But it is my first cannibalism."
    The slaying of Jana Shearer, a 21-year-old mall clerk from Whitehouse, capped a night of escalating violence by a man with a volatile history.
    Last November, sheriff's deputies were called to Mr. McCuin's mother's home after his sister said he hit her in the face. Last Friday, Mr. McCuin's estranged wife came to the Sheriff's Department to file papers accusing him of assault.
    Mr. McCuin had a lengthy rap sheet – including arrests for DWI, disorderly conduct, public intoxication and a 2003 aggravated assault conviction.

    The victim

    Ms. Shearer left a MySpace page topped with a photo of a smiling young woman. The profile describes Ms. Shearer as a former drill team dancer whose mood was "lonely," whose interests were "music, dance, my friends, have fun!" and whose status was "in a relationship."
    Her page, shedidthat06, bears the heading, "Jana loves life!!!!!!!!!!!," and the declaration: "I get along with any and everybody! I have my own style and love life. We only live once so you got to give it all you got!"

    Woman taken?

    Lt. Larry Wiginton said Ms. Shearer and Mr. McCuin apparently had dated for several months. Mr. McCuin has a young daughter with his estranged wife, who told authorities that they were divorcing.
    Police believe Mr. McCuin forced Ms. Shearer to leave the Whitehouse apartment she shared with her mother about 10 p.m. Friday. Ms. Shearer's mother said Mr. McCuin briefly came in with her daughter, and the two then left. Ms. Shearer's mother told investigators that she believes her daughter went involuntarily because she left her shoes, purse and cellphone.
    Mr. McCuin appeared after 3 a.m. at his estranged wife's home. There, police say, he broke in and brandished a knife, threatening his wife's boyfriend. After the other man slugged him in the jaw, Mr. McCuin stabbed him in the shoulder, police say. The man is in a Tyler hospital.
    Sheriff's deputies, called to the home, spotted Mr. McCuin in his truck and gave chase, but he got away.
    Mr. McCuin later began calling people, including Ms. Shearer's mother and her friends, to boast of what he had done, police say.
    On Sunday, Ms. Shearer's MySpace page included a description of one of those calls from a woman who identified herself as "a best friend."
    "Why did this happen. All I hear is him on the other line telling me what he did," the entry said.
    Lt. Wiginton said he's baffled that no one reported any of the calls to police until Saturday evening or later.
    Mr. McCuin appeared Saturday morning at the neat brick home he shared with his mother near the Tyler airport and summoned her outside.
    "He said, 'Come out and see what I did,' " Lt. Wiginton said.
    After seeing the body, Mr. McCuin's mother and boyfriend ran from the house and flagged down a Tyler police officer.
    Soon after that, investigators said, Mr. McCuin called 911.
    Mr. McCuin sounded remarkably calm as he recounted murdering his girlfriend and gave his mother's address on Princess Drive, said investigators who reviewed a recording of the call.
    After a brief standoff, Mr. McCuin came out of the house wielding a kitchen knife but surrendered to deputies. Once handcuffed, he kicked out a patrol car window, investigators said.

    Body found

    Deputies found Ms. Shearer's clothed body wedged between the back and front seats of Mr. McCuin's truck. A large number of blunt-force wounds were visible on her face, neck and upper body.
    Flesh had been cut away from one biceps, the lieutenant said. The area around one temple was also cut away, as was an ear. There was little blood in the truck, however, and authorities believe Ms. Shearer had been dead for hours.
    Mr. McCuin remained jailed Sunday night on a capital murder charge, with bail set at $2 million. Investigators said he has been unemotional in questioning but has refused to say where Ms. Shearer was killed, saying only that he "blacked out" as he approached an area of south Smith County. Authorities think it's likely she died there.
    Authorities continued searching in an area south of Tyler on Sunday to determine where she was slain.
    "He's saying God told him to do it," Lt. Wiginton said. "He's saying he needs help. He just says that what he did a normal person basically wouldn't do."
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