A couple was arrested Monday in South Carolina on capital murder warrants in the robbery and slaying of a Fort Worth businessman last month, authorities reported.
The partial remains of Marion Lee Brown, 53, and his burned car were found May 23 in Smith County near Tyler. One day later, authorities in Shreveport, La., pulled his body from Cross Lake.
Brandon Bernard Daniels, 30, and Damonica Laniesha Evans, 25, were in the Florence County Jail Monday night.
In addition to the capital murder case, they were also being held on aggravated robbery warrants. Daniels and Evans are accused of luring a second man through an online escort ad to a southwest Fort Worth apartment complex. The man told police they beat and robbed him, and then threatened to tell the man’s family if he called police.
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That happened the day before Brown was killed on May 22. The complex is the Enclave at Cityview. Investigators believe it’s the same apartment where Brown was fatally beaten.
“It would appear at this time that the two offenses were committed in the same fashion,” said Fort Worth homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman on Monday.
“It is unknown why Mr. Brown was killed and the other victim was allowed to live.”
Brown, who lived in Parker County, went to his Fort Worth office on May 22. He was an executive with Hill Phoenix, a manufacturer of display cases and refrigeration systems.
Loughman said investigators believe Daniels and Evans attempted to clean up the crime scene before fleeing, eventually making their way to Florence County, S.C., where they were arrested by members of a U.S. marshal’s task force, the Florence County Sheriff’s Department and the Francis Marion University Police Department.
Daniels reportedly has family in the area, Loughman said.
Loughman said Fort Worth homicide investigators were en route to Florence County on Monday to interview the suspects.
Beating and robbery
On May 21, a 36-year-old man reported to Fort Worth police that he had been robbed by a woman who called herself “Kendra” whom he had arranged to meet through an online escort ad.
According to that police report, the man went to the address on Enclave Circle that “Kendra” had given him and was let in by the woman. As the two talked, a man whom he described as being about 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds with dreadlocks, came into the living room from the kitchen, armed with a shotgun.
“The suspect pointed the shotgun at him and made him [lie] on the floor,’ the police report states. “The suspect then struck the back of his head with the shotgun.”
With the big man pointing the shotgun at him, the man told police, “Kendra” went through his pockets, removing about $100 and two credit cards.
She also went through his phone, writing down information from his driver’s license and his wife’s phone number, he told police.
“The male suspect said, ‘We got your information. If you tell the police we are gonna let your family know what’s up. Then maybe pay them a visit,’ ” the report states.
The couple then let the man go. Feeling faint, the man drove to a nearby hospital and called police, the report states.
Tarrant County records show that Daniels was sentenced in November 2012 to nine months deferred adjudication probation for interfering with public duties.
After he successfully completed probation, the case was closed in October, records show.
Evans was sentenced to two years in prison in August 2009 after her deferred adjudication probation in a case of abandoning/endangering a child was revoked. That month, she was also sentenced to nine months in state jail on a forgery conviction, records show.
“The efforts of numerous police agencies made the arrest of these two extremely violent individuals possible,” Loughman said. “I would like to express appreciation to the Fort Worth homicide detectives, robbery detectives, fugitive unit, Smith County Sheriffs Department, Shreveport Police Department, Texas Rangers and all of the law enforcement agencies between here and Florence, S.C., that assisted in this investigation and apprehension.”