The trial of two people accused of robbing and beating a man to death with hand tools in Killeen in 2017 started this week in the 27th Judicial District Court in Belton.
“Jury selection continues this morning,” said Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said on Tuesday, the second-day of jury selection.
Erica Lane Brownlee, 20, and James Tyshawn Pinkard, 23 — both charged with first-degree murder — were arrested in March of 2017 by Killeen police in connection with the death of 38-year-old Rocky Wayne Marsh. Shamar Lamar Lewis, 19, also charged with first-degree murder in the case, will be tried separately later.
Marsh was a father of three, a chef and worked most of his life in the food industry, according to an obituary in the Herald. He was employed at Outback Steakhouse in Killeen.
Marsh, a native of San Antonio, was killed on March 7, 2017, in the Morgan Manor Apartments’ parking lot in the 1500 block of Bundrant Drive in north Killeen following an argument between Marsh and Pinkard, according to the arrest affidavit.
Pinkard and Brownlee went to a convenience store, where the argument took place. That led to Marsh pulling out a small knife and Pinkard pulling out a crowbar, police said.
Pinkard and Brownlee then left the scene to pick up Lewis and an unidentified minor, and came back to the area.
Pinkard, Lewis and the minor hit Marsh in the back of the head, and took his phone, knife, lighter and money, according to the affidavit.
Lewis also told police in his interview that he hit the victim with a screwdriver in the back of the head, as well as with a handsaw, police said.
Detectives found a small handsaw in the parking lot, and when Pinkard’s car was later searched, a screwdriver with blood on it was found, according to the affidavit.
All three suspects are being tried together in the courtroom of Judge John Gauntt. Assistant District Attorney Mike Waldman is prosecuting the case for the state and each of the three suspects have their own defense attorneys, according to court records.
Pinkard, of Killeen, was arrested on March 10, 2017, is the only one of the suspects not listed in Bell County custody. He was given a $1 million bond when arraigned and was released on Sept. 22, 2017, according to Bell County Chief Deputy Chuck Cox.
Lewis, of Killeen, was arrested on March 9, 2017 and is listed in the Bell County Jail with $700,000 bonds on the first-degree felony charge of murder and a third-degree felony charge of obstruction or retaliation.
Brownlee, of Houston, was arrested on March 8, 2017 and is listed in the Bell County Jail with a $100,000 bond on the murder charge.