The trial date of the man accused of killing Dianna Pier has been moved

A status hearing on Williamson County’s case against Joshua Gilbreath, who is accused of shooting and killing Dianna Pier in Florence, was held on Wednesday, January 11th at the Williamson County Court House Annex in Georgetown. After the hearing, the Prosecutor responsible for handling the prosecution of Gilbreath announced to a group of over 40 of Dianna’s friends who attended the hearing in support of Dianna’s family, that the trial date has been moved up.

Originally, the trial of Gilbreath, who was charged with Pier’s murder in August of 2022, was scheduled for July 28th. The trial is now slated to begin on May 22nd. The pretrial conference hearing has also been moved from June 19th to April 19th @ 1:30 pm. Jury selection for the trial will be held on May 19th.

The Prosecutor was apologetic for the rough start to the trial process. Williamson County District Attorney’s office missed the 90-day deadline to indict Gilbreath. As a result of the failure to meet the deadline Shawn Dick, Williamson County’s District Attorney removed the individual responsible for the failure to meet the deadline and appointed the new Prosecutor.

At a Status Hearing on December 5th, a Williamson County Judge reduced Gilbreath’s bond, at the request of Gilbreath’s new attorney. The defendant’s bond was reduced from a 1 Million dollar bond to a 250,000 dollar bond and Gilbreath’s family was able to procure the amount necessary to get Gilbreath released. Gilbreath is living at home and is wearing an ankle monitor.  

The victim, 70-year-old, Diana Lynn Pier of Florence, Texas, was a resident of Round Rock, Texas for over 20 years. Dianna, her husband, and their children lived and worked in Round Rock. The children attend and graduated from Round Rock schools. She was an active member of the Saint William Catholic Church before retiring and moving to the Florence area.

Details from the arrest affidavit explain what led investigators to Gilbreath.

According to an Affidavit from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, on the evening of August 4th, a witness living in the area of the shooting on CR 245 stated that she saw a silver sedan, with its flashers on, parked in the southbound lane of CR 245. She observed a vehicle driven by 70-year-old Diana Lynn Pier, drive past the silver sedan and pull into a driveway area. The witness stated she then saw someone running from the rear of Pier’s car to the silver sedan, which was still parked on the roadway with its flashers on. The silver sedan then sped off “at a high rate of speed”.

After the silver sedan sped off, the witness walked to the end of their driveway and saw a body lying in the roadway and immediately called 911. The body was later identified as Pier. Investigators also found a shell casing on the road near Pier’s body.

Information in the affidavit also stated that Gilbreath bought a used pistol in Pflugerville on July 29th from a local gun shop. Investigators also obtained photos of the cartridges Gilbreath purchased that same day, and they matched the cartridge found at the crime scene in Florence.

In addition to that evidence, the affidavit stated that Gilbreath’s phone confirmed that he was in that area at the time of the shooting, and Gilbreath confided to an individual at a bar that he was the shooter. The individual came forth and reported the conversation to the Sheriff’s Department.

The exact reason Pier was shot has not been released but the medical examiner has confirmed Pier died from a gunshot wound. 

3 Comments

  1. And now, because of the prosecuting attorney’s failure to meet a deadline, Gilbreath is living at home with his parents after Judge Stacey Matthews approved a reduced bail amount and set him free. Others in the prosecuting/district attorney’s office, along with Judge Stacey Matthew’s should be held accountable by the citizens of Williamson County for allowing an accused murderer of Diana Pier to be walking free today. Incompetence is too small a word to describe our elected officials’ performance in this case thus far. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this man winning this case, considering his opposition.

  2. Not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t ache for the loss of such an amazing beautiful compassionate soul as Diana, my longtime and cherished friend. I can’t imagine what it is like for the family to not only lose their wife, mother, grandmother, sister, etc but then to contend with the incompetence of the courts and the lack of justice. My prayers are with the family, and for justice and finally, peace. Ellen

  3. I understand that Joshua Gilbreath has violated his parole and threatened other people. I have been advised that Gilbreath has been put back in jail and bail has been substantiated increased. It is now my understanding that he is pursuing a mental health defense. The trial date of late May was postponed. It appears the prosecution is being out maneuvered by the defense attorney for Gilbreath. Sad news for the victims family and friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *