Man found burned in SUV had been strangled, hog-tied

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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An oil executive found slain in a burning vehicle last month in Godley had smoked marijuana with his two alleged killers inside the home of one of the suspects shortly before he was robbed, hog-tied and strangled with an electrical cord, according to court documents.

Dean Allen Walden confessed to investigators that he and Joseph "Joey" Dodson then loaded the body of 44-year-old Robert "Dodd" Dodson into the victim's own Dodge Nitro and later burned the vehicle and body at a remote gas well site, according to state arrest warrant affidavits obtained by the Star-Telegram.

Godley firefighters responding to a report of a vehicle fire Oct. 28 extinguished the blaze to find Robert Dodson's body in the back of the burned SUV.

The affidavit states the victim's arms and legs had been bound with a metal cable.

Joseph Dodson, 31, and Walden, 47, were later arrested in the case, accused of capital murder.

The affidavits do not clarify how Robert Dodson was acquainted with the suspects.

Joseph Dodson, the affidavit states, is an Aryan Brotherhood member who goes by the street name of "Short Sight."

Texas Department of Criminal Justice records show Joseph Dodson was paroled from prison in January, where he had been serving 10 years for possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to deliver and one year for forgery.

He remained in the Tarrant County Jail Wednesday in connection with the capital murder case, a parole violation. He also has a new charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon by a felon after sheriff's deputies allegedly saw him pull an asp baton from his back pocket and throw it in a ditch just prior to his Nov. 7 arrest in the capital murder case.

He is being held without bond because of the parole violation.

Walden, who previously served time for convictions of theft of a vehicle, remained held Wednesday in the Johnson County Jail with bail set at $250,000.

Strangled to death

The affidavits state that Joseph Dodson and his girlfriend had been visiting the Fort Worth home of Walden and his girlfriend on Oct. 28 when Joseph Dodson advised that he needed to go to his Burleson house because Robert Dodson was there, the affidavit states.

Witnesses say Walden placed a gun into his waistband before the two men left for the house.

When questioned by investigators, Walden said that he and Joseph Dodson had previously planned to rob an unidentified person when they went to Joseph Dodson's house in the 100 block of Syble Jean that day and met with Robert Dodson, according to the affidavit.

Walden's statement to investigators, as included in the affidavits, detailed what happened next:

The three men went upstairs, talked, and smoked a marijuana cigarette.

Robert Dodson was preparing to leave and was shaking Walden's hand when Joseph Dodson grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground. Joseph Dodson then restrained Robert Dodson's arms behind his back and asked Walden to restrain the victim's feet.

The men hog-tied Robert Dodson with a red belt and other restraints before Joseph Dodson sat on the victim's back and strangled him with a brown extension cord. After Robert Dodson's death, Joseph Dodson took the victim's phone, wallet and removed credit cards from the wallet, Walden told investigators.

Joseph Dodson then covered Robert Dodson with a blanket and the two men carried his body downstairs. Joseph Dodson backed Robert Dodson's SUV up to the fence behind his house and Walden removed a fence panel.

"Joseph Dodson and Walden were attempting to temporarily hide the vehicle from sight while they loaded the remains of Robert E. Dodson II into the rear of the vehicle," the affidavit states.

Joseph Dodson then drove away in the SUV, calling Walden soon after and advising him to meet at a nearby gas station. There, Joseph Dodson instructed Walden to get some gasoline so they could burn the vehicle and body.

Walden drove back to his house, calling his girlfriend on the way and asking her to meet him outside with a can of fuel from the garage.

After getting the gas can, Walden met back up with Joseph Dodson. The two men then drove separately to the gas well site off County Road 915, where Walden waited in his girlfriend's pickup while Joseph Dodson burned the SUV.

The two men then fled in the pickup, the affidavit states.

Police later seized the gas can, the revolver that Walden had with him that day, and the clothing that he wore that day from the Fort Worth house where Walden and his girlfriend lived, the affidavit states.

Burned notebook found

Investigators' first clue that the victim was Robert Dodson came from a partially burned notebook found inside the vehicle that included contact information for Fort Worth police homicide Detective W.D. Paine.

Paine is the lead investigator in the slaying of Claudia Hidic, a 17-year-old woman fatally shot in June during a robbery of Robert Dodson's Tanglewood home.

Though Robert Dodson was not present when the robbery occurred, he found Hidic's body upon arriving home and later helped Fort Worth police identify several witnesses who had been inside the house but fled after Hidic was killed.

Police allege Hidic orchestrated the robbery after Dodson refused to lend her money. She was shot in the head, police say, when guns were drawn and shots exchanged during the robbery.

The two men who police say Hidic recruited to help her in the robbery have been charged with capital murder in the case.

Based on the information found in the notebook, Paine told Johnson County investigators that he believed the body may be that of Robert Dodson. Investigators later confirmed that the burned SUV was registered to Robert Dodson and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office positively identified the remains as his.

Sheriff's officials have said they do not believe Dodson's slaying is related to the Hidic case.

Robert Dodson, the father of three children, was a vice president at Buckley Oil Co., a family-owned business in Dallas.

A person familiar with Robert Dodson has previously told the Star-Telegram that the man had been concerned that someone was after him following his arrest on Oct. 4 for allegedly possessing methamphetamine.

Deanna Boyd, (817) -390

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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