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Star-Telegram.com

7-11-12: Teen slain in Fort Worth robbery was caught in crossfire, documents say

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012

By Domingo Ramirez

ramirez@star-telegram.com

FORT WORTH -- Claudia Hidic was desperate for money.

On June 24, the 17-year-old former Trinity High School student began hounding a 43-year-old Overton Park West resident for cash, selling him an HK .40-caliber pistol for $100 and giving him two laptops as collateral for an additional $100.

She told him that she needed the money to get her boyfriend out of jail.

The teen returned a few days later asking for $600, but the man refused to give it to her.

As he drove home from his job in Dallas on the afternoon of June 28, the resident got a phone call from Hidic, who said she was with a blond Italian girl who wanted to meet him. But the Fort Worth man became suspicious and declined to meet with the girls.

By 6:15 p.m. that day, Hidic lay dead at the back door of the man's home on Overton Park West, shot in what police say was a gunbattle during a robbery that the teen had coordinated.

Accounts of the gunbattle and events leading up to the botched robbery were outlined in an arrest warrant affidavit released late Monday.

Hidic's accomplices, Curtis Fortenberry and Terrance Crumley, former football stars at North Crowley High School, remained jailed Tuesday, accused of murder in the case, authorities said.

According to the affidavit and acquaintances, Fortenberry told investigators that he believes one of his shots struck Hidic, who was caught in the crossfire between Fortenberry and a man at the Overton Park house.

Botched robbery

The affidavit gave this account of the June 28 gunbattle:

Hidic called a 17-year-old male friend that day, trying to recruit him to go with her and others to a house on Overton Park West. She said that they would find money, drugs and guns and that the "guy" who lived there wasn't supposed to be home. She promised the teen half the money and a gun if he drove them there, but he declined.

Hidic later contacted Fortenberry and Crumley and convinced them that they could make some quick money at the house. The plan called for the two men to treat Hidic as a hostage and to act as if they were looking for a man called "Ghost" who owed them $900.

Riding in a Ford Explorer, the three arrived at the house, where Hidic knocked on the door and was allowed in, followed by Crumley and Fortenberry. The resident wasn't there, but six other people were, including a 10-year-old girl. A 28-year-old woman at the house told investigators that she had gone there to buy methamphetamine.

Fortenberry immediately started asking for "Ghost" and took one bag of "dope" and an iPhone from a woman. As Fortenberry continued to demand money and drugs, a 33-year-old man retrieved a pistol from a bathroom closet when Fortenberry tried to gather everyone in a room. The man said he believed they would be shot.

A gunbattle erupted between the 33-year-old and Fortenberry. Fortenberry told investigators that he heard Hidic screaming for them to stop before she was shot.

Within seconds, everyone in the house fled. The 33-year-old man instructed the women in the house to call 911, but they all left without doing so.

Fortenberry, who had been wounded, ran outside and was shot again in the leg. He told investigators that he jumped into the Ford Explorer, picked up Crumley, who was hiding in some bushes, and drove away. He later had to stop because of his wounds and let Crumley drive him to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

The Fort Worth man who lived at the house told police that he arrived at 6:08 p.m. June 28 and found Hidic dead at the back door.

Star football players

After police tracked him down, Fortenberry initially told investigators that he had been shot at Cobb Park during a dice game. But he changed his story to say he had been shot during the robbery.

The two men accused in Hidic's killing have had criminal troubles. Fortenberry faces charges of organized retail theft, burglary, theft of $50 to $500 and assault with bodily injury involving a family member, Tarrant County jail and court records say.

Crumley was on probation after a conviction for property theft of $50 to $500.

Crumley was an all-district wide receiver, and Fortenberry was an all-district linebacker during the 2008 football season at North Crowley High School. Both had received scholarships to play football at East Central University in Oklahoma.

Former North Crowley football coach Mike Papas said Tuesday that he hadn't kept up with the men since they left high school but that he was aware of their arrests.

"I can't remember any problems with them when they were on the team," said Papas, who coaches at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. "Terrance and Curtis were leaders on that team, and they were pretty good high school players."

Papas said he is praying for both.

"My heart goes out to them," Papas said. "And for the others involved."

Staff writers Lee Williams and Sarah Bahari contributed to this report.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.,

817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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