Five arrested in stabbing death of Fort Worth man

Posted Thursday, Jun. 28, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Five people, including two juveniles, have been arrested on murder warrants in connection with a crime spree in August that left a 52-year-old homeless man dead.

Jose Plascencia, 22, Eduardo Luis Mendez, 23, Roman Renee Vela, 18, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl are believed to have committed several burglaries and assaults in 24 hours, including stabbing Robert Bradley on Aug. 25.

"It appears that these five individuals selected Robert Bradley randomly and that there had been no prior contact between them," homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson said. "At this time, investigators believe that Plascencia is the individual that stabbed Bradley, but the other four all participated in collaboration to commit the murder."

The stabbing occurred at a homeless camp in a vacant lot in the 1900 block of South Jennings Avenue.

A female companion of the victim told investigators that two females and a male approached the camp and that the male repeatedly stabbed Bradley in the upper torso. The woman said that she tried to help Bradley but that one of the females struck her in the head, possibly with a bat or pipe.

Bradley was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital and was pronounced dead early the next morning.

Police said the murder warrants were obtained Monday. The males are believed to be gang members, Johnson said.

On Wednesday, police arrested Mendez, Vela and the juveniles, who are not being identified because of their ages. They were turned over to juvenile authorities.

Mendez and Vela remained in the Mansfield Jail on Thursday with bail set at $100,000 each. Plascencia is in a Texas prison, police say.

He was convicted Nov. 28 of two charges of engaging in organized crime and sentenced to seven years in prison, Tarrant County court records show.

Those cases are in connection with the separate assault and robberies of two men, one in June 2011 and the other Aug. 28, three days after the attack on Bradley, court records show.

Peggy Malone, Bradley's mother, said she is thankful for the arrests.

She said Bradley was living on the streets because "he just liked that type of living."

Malone said she always had faith that police would find her son's attacker. "I knew it may not be in my lifetime but that's one thing about it: Everything that goes on in the dark comes to light sooner or later," she said.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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