Fort Worth auto shop owner convicted of 2011 murder

Posted Monday, Nov. 19, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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The owner of a southeast Fort Worth auto repair shop was convicted of murder Monday in the death of a 25-year-old man outside the business in 2011.

Arthur Foley Jr., 44, could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison for fatally shooting Brandon Sibley in the chest.

Foley testified earlier Monday that an intoxicated Sibley was "screaming as he came toward me" and was hitting Foley's sister on May 23, 2011, at Alf's Auto Repair in the 5200 block of Mosson Road.

Foley said he aimed the gun at Sibley's chest from about 8 feet away.

"Brandon took three or four steps toward me after I pointed the gun at him," Foley said.

The gun had fallen from Sibley's pants earlier during the men's altercation, Foley said.

During closing statements, prosecutors said that Foley used his own gun. Shell casings found in the front and rear of the business, where people shot at targets, matched the gun used to kill Sibley, a Fort Worth expert testified on Friday.

The gun had been wiped clean, and no DNA evidence or fingerprints could be taken from the gun, prosecutor Rebecca McIntire said.

"While everyone else is running away, [Foley] cleans the gun and puts it up while Brandon Sibley is dying less than 75 yards away" McIntire said. "That's cold-blooded murder."

Defense attorney Abe Factor said in his closing statement that if it had been Foley's gun, he would have gotten rid of it. Instead, police found it in a desk drawer at his business where it was easy to find.

Sibley picked the weakest person -- the defendant's sister Miracle Foley -- at the auto repair shop to attack, Factor said. And Foley shot Sibley once, enough to get him to stop his attack.

"Sibley was instrumental in his own death," Factor said. "In this case you combine alcohol, a gun and attacking someone who was relatively defenseless."

Last week witnesses testified that Sibley came to the repair shop to reclaim speakers he had left at the shop as collateral for a $300-to-$400 loan.

Another Foley employee, Willie Davis, testified that he told Sibley the business had been robbed two days earlier and the speakers were stolen.

Davis said he told Sibley he would either replace the speakers or give him cash once Sibley repaid the loan and after the insurance company settled his claim.

Prosecutor Joshua Ross told the jury that all of Foley's friends, relatives and employees who were at the auto repair shop when Sibley was killed testified that they did not see anything, including who shot Sibley.

"How fortunate for you," Ross said, looking at Foley.

Foley said his sister told him that he needed to be careful about who he let hang around the shop, in reference to a string of burglaries during the past three years. After a burglary in 2009, Foley was able to recoup $30,000 after filing a claim with his insurance carrier, Ross said.

Ross suggested that Sibley confronted Foley because he doubted that the burglary story was true.

"He knew you had taken the stuff and sold it and either he wanted his money back or he wanted his stuff back," Ross said.

Miracle Foley was killed in an unrelated incident on June 10, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's website.

The punishment phase of the trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in state District Judge Robb Catalano's court.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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5200 block of Mosson Road, Fort Worth, TX
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