TCU student charged in connection with death of T. Boone Pickens' grandson

Posted Monday, Mar. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- A fellow TCU student has been charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the death of the grandson of billionaire T. Boone Pickens.

Brennan Trainor Rodriguez, 21, is accused of removing evidence from an apartment and hiding it from police investigating the death of Thomas "Ty" Boone Pickens IV. Court documents identify the evidence as heroin, drug paraphernalia, syringes and marijuana.

Pickens, a TCU junior, died on the morning of Jan. 29 at Baylor All Saints Hospital after being taken there by private vehicle from an apartment he'd been visiting in the 1800 block of Rogers Road. A police report shows Rodriguez lived at the apartment in question.

A ruling on Pickens' cause and manner of death was still pending Monday with the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.

Rodriguez was charged Friday in connection with the case. Two days earlier, he had surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail on a warrant and was immediately released upon posting a $5,000 bond, jail records show.

Tampering with evidence with intent to impair an investigation is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson said the case remains under investigation.

Bruce Ashworth, Rodriguez's defense attorney, declined to comment Monday.

According to his obituary, Pickens majored in strategic communications with a minor in business and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Rodriguez is also a student at TCU, confirmed spokeswoman Lisa Albert.

"It is difficult to hear about this development, as the TCU community is still mourning Ty's death," the university said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "Because this is a police investigation, all we can do is verify that he is a TCU student. As in all such cases, he has been suspended from the university pending a hearing through the university's disciplinary process."

The Pickens family declined to comment Monday.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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