The Sandy Dial murder goes on trial half a decade later.

On Dec. 2, five years after a Garland woman named Sandy Dial was found shot in the head, a former police officer charged with conspiracy to commit her murder is scheduled to go to trial in Hunt County. Resolution of the case has been a long time coming, says Dial’s sister, Janet Holley. She feels that a June 1993 D Magazine cover story on the case helped make sure that the death of her sister didn’t fall through the cracks of the legal system.

In June 1996, three people were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit capital murder in a scheme to collect proceeds from a life insurance policy on Sandy Dial: Don Dial, the former police officer and Sandy’s one-time brother-in-law; Lynn Dial, Sandy’s ex-husband, whose trial is set for Jan. 20; and DeEllen Bellah, Sandy’s best friend, whose court date is set for Feb. 13.

They were indicted on April 26 after a Hunt County grand jury investigation. Bellah was not arrested until June 6, when investigators found her living in Alba. Texas, under an assumed name. Bellah. who has been accused of posing as Sandy in order to obtain an insurance policy on her life, told investigators that publicity from the D Magazine story was the reason she had to obtain phony identification.

Putting together the evidence for the arrests has taken years. Holley says. Another reason the case never died was Holley’s own determination. Her involvement in pursuing justice for her sister’s killers has led to a new career. Holley is now studying to become a paralegal.


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