Weatherford Democrat

February 5, 2013

Robbery of 82-year-old becomes homicide


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

A call Parker County deputies responded to in June involving a severely injured and dehydrated 82-year-old man — who was found tied up with duct tape on his living room floor near Boyd — has become a homicide investigation for Wise County. 

The victim, Marvin Zimmerman, died Sunday night in the emergency room at Harris Methodist Hospital in Bedford. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled his death a homicide as a result of complications of subdural hematoma, dehydration and renal failure due to being assaulted, bound and abandoned. 

When found by Parker County deputies around 9:30 p.m. June 8 at his residence in the 1400 block of New Hope Road near the Parker-Wise County line, Zimmerman was believed to have been lying incapacitated since June 6. 

Neighbors, concerned that they had not seen him in a couple days, looked in his window, saw him tied up on the living room floor and called authorities. 

After responding deputies arrived, they reportedly found the home ransacked, with chairs turned over and duct tape over a pair of handcuffs on the man’s wrists and around his head and ankles. 

Zimmerman described three men with shaved heads to authorities before being transported to the hospital, where he was initially listed in serious condition. 

Christopher James Hammons, 27; his uncle, Roger Lee Hammons, 49; Michael Anthony Cordova, 34; and Jimmy Ray Murrell, 50, were all arrested within several days and charged with aggravated robbery in connection with the incident. 

Murrell and his girlfriend reportedly lived with the man, according to authorities.

Suspect statements led to the recovery of property, including a tool box and air compressor, believed to have been taken from the man’s home and described how the man was “brutalized while bound,” according to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

One suspect told investigators they used a stun gun on the man when he wouldn’t tell them where he kept belongings, the sheriff’s office reported. 

Christopher Hammons was released on bond June 15, though the others remain in custody, according to Wise County jail records. 

All four men had lengthy criminal histories, Wise County Sheriff David Walker told the Democrat at the time. 

Officials at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office did not return messages seeking comment on whether additional charges are expected to be pursued in the case by deadline.