Weatherford Democrat

June 13, 2012

2 arrested for home invasion, more arrests expected

Christin Coyne

WISE COUNTY — Two suspects have been arrested after an 82-year-old Boyd-area man, believed to have been left on his living room floor handcuffed, bound with duct tape and gagged for days after being assaulted and shocked with a stun gun during a robbery, was discovered Friday by concerned neighbors.

Parker County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the man’s home in the 1400 block of New Hope Road in Wise County for a robbery call around 9:30 p.m. Friday after neighbors who went to check on the man. His neighbors reported they saw him lying on the living room floor with his hands bound behind him.  

Deputies forced their way into the locked house, made sure the residence was clear and called for an ambulance for the man, according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.

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.

The man was able to describe three white males with shaved heads but, due to his medical condition, was unable to provide a Parker County Sheriff’s deputy more information about the incident. The dehydrated man was transported by ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital, where he was listed in serious condition and remained Tuesday, according to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

Working around the clock over the weekend, the Texas Rangers, both county sheriff’s departments and Fort Worth police worked to identify suspects and obtain arrest warrants, according to Wise County Sheriff David Walker.

Jimmy Murrell, 49, who lived with the 82-year-old man, along with his girlfriend, initially arrested Monday on warrants dealing with an alleged October offense involving a firearm, and Roger Lee Hammons, 49, of Fort Worth, were in custody Tuesday and expected to be charged with first degree felony injury to the elderly and aggravated robbery.

Officials expected to soon arrest two others in the case, as well, according to the sheriff’s office.

By talking with neighbors and a postal worker about when the man was last seen, they believe the robbery occurred sometime on June 6, Walker said.

Both men confessed to involvement and gave statements leading to the recovery of property believed to have been taken from the man’s home and describing 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.

A tool box and air compressor, believed to be among items taken from the residence, were recovered from the trunk of one suspect’s vehicle, according to Walker.

Both men had lengthy criminal histories and had spent time in prison, Walker said. Hammons, who had an aggravated assault conviction, had been released within the past eight months, according to Walker. One of the men had been arrested on a murder charge in the past, as well, Walker said, but he didn't know which man that was.

After they arrest and talk to all of the suspects, process evidence from the man’s house, including possible DNA and fingerprint evidence, and try to track down the property, they expect to share information with other agencies, according to Walker, who said he didn’t know whether the men were suspects in any other similar incidents.

As of Tuesday evening, bond had been set at $100,000 for each man and they remained in the Wise County jail.