April 22, 2014

Grapevine man gets life in slaying of disabled neighbor

The 59-year-old victim was stabbed multiple times and beaten with his walker.

One of three men suspected of killing a disabled man while trying to rob him pleaded guilty to capital murder Tuesday and received life in prison without parole.

Jerry Temple, 33, was sentenced in the death of Kenneth Alberts, 59, of Grapevine.

Alberts, who used a walker and a wheelchair to get around, was in an apartment at The Lakes of Williamsburg complex in Grapevine on Aug. 15, 2012, when he was attacked by Temple and two other men.

Temple, Deron Hall, 21, and Brion L. Wooden, 19, were arrested after Alberts’ body was found, stabbed multiple times.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Temple walked into Alberts’ apartment to ask for beer money from his neighbor, then “lost it.” Alberts was stabbed in his neck and beaten with his walker. Alberts tried to defend himself with his hands and arms as he lay on the floor, according to the affidavit.

Temple and Hall were arrested on Aug. 19 and Wooden on Aug. 20.

The men tried to sell a flat-screen television stolen from Alberts to residents in the neighborhood, Grapevine police said.

“I don’t know how well they knew him,” police Sgt. Robert Eberling said. “But they knew who he was.”

Temple, Hall and another man went to Alberts’ apartment on the pretense that Temple would ask Alberts for money, according to the affidavit.

Temple told the others to follow him into the apartment after a few seconds, the affidavit says. Temple and Hall entered the apartment as the other man waited outside. Then Hall closed Alberts’ door.

At some point, Temple stabbed Alberts in the neck, the affidavit says. The man outside became frightened and ran, but he heard Alberts scream, “No, Jerry!” according to the affidavit.

Alberts was found dead the morning of Aug. 16 by a physical therapist who came to his apartment. He died from multiple stab wounds, according to an autopsy report from the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

According to the affidavit, Alberts’ walker was found near him, broken and bloodied.

After the attack, the men left the apartment, but Temple later returned, cleaned himself up and threw his clothes into a trash bin, the affidavit says.

Temple has a criminal history in Tarrant County, according to court records. He was arrested in Grapevine on suspicion of criminal mischief in 2009 and assault with bodily injury to a family member in 2011. He served 20 days in jail on each charge, according to records.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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