FORT WORTH — Prosecutors have officially closed the case on four men charged in the fatal shootings of two cousins inside an east Fort Worth house in March 2005.
Last week, three defendants arrested in the deaths of Torian Wiley, 27, and Benny Lemmons, 25, reached plea bargains with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to various crimes:&9632; Calvin King, 23, pleaded guilty to murder on May 19 in the death of Lemmons and was sentenced to seven years in prison.&9632; Donnell Session, 35, King's brother who was acquitted of capital murder in November in the slayings, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm on May 19 and was sentenced to six years in prison. Prosecutors charged Session with the gun crime after he admitted during his capital murder trial to being a felon in possession of a firearm.&9632; Jonathan Garrett, 29, pleaded guilty on Friday to tampering with physical evidence for helping dispose of Wiley's and Lemmons' bodies and was sentenced to six years of deferred adjudication probation. He received his deal in exchange for his testimony against Session and King.&9632; A fourth defendant, Calvin Wilburn, 23, pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence and arson in December for helping dispose of the bodies and destroying evidence and was sentenced to six years of deferred adjudication probation. He received the deal in exchange for his testimony against Session.
According to investigators, the victims, Wiley and Lemmons, were selling drugs from a house that Wiley rented in the 1400 block of East Morphy Street. About 2 a.m. on March 11, 2005, police have said, Session hit Wiley on the head with a 2-by-4 and then shot him in the head because Session believed that Wiley had been disrespecting King, his brother.
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Investigators have said that the two brothers — Session and King — then waited until Lemmons came to the house later that morning. Officials have said that, after Lemmons walked in, King shot him with an AK-47.
Police have said that the brothers, with the help of Garrett and Wilburn, cleaned up the scene and loaded the bodies into Lemmon's car and drove it to the Como neighborhood, where they dumped Wiley's body in a vacant house in the 5100 block of Blackmore Avenue and dumped Lemmons' body in a vacant lot about 200 yards away.
After the two bodies were found, Session and King were arrested and charged with capital murder and murder, respectively. Wilburn and Garret were charged with tampering with physical evidence. Wilburn was also charged with arson.
In November, Session was tried on the capital murder charge and acquitted after he claimed he wasn't there and had nothing to do with the slayings. Prosecutor David Hagerman said that the verdict limited his options on how to handle King's murder case.
"When we plead a case like this, this is no way indicative of how we feel about the victims or their families," Hagerman said. "It is just that, when a jury passes judgment on the same evidence and finds a co-defendant 'not guilty', it limits your options."