Fort Worth

Key figures in the murder of Bryan Childers

By Deanna Boyd

Handout/Courtesy photos

Bryan “Tripwire” Childers, the murder victim

Childers had joined the Aryan Circle while serving a two-year prison sentence for possession of methamphetamine in the early 2000s. Family members say Childers, more of a loner, had grown to regret the decision and was in fear for his life in the year before his slaying because of a dispute with a rival gang member. He was killed in April 2014 inside the garage of a Fort Worth home; his body later was dismembered at a Hurst dog-grooming business before reportedly being tossed into the Trinity River. His remains have never been found.

Nicholas “Bulldog” Acree,

The member of the Aryan Brotherhood with whom Childers had an ongoing dispute, Acree admitted to police that he pointed a pistol at Childers and ultimately stabbed him one time in the garage. He said he fled the scene prior to the cleanup of the crime scene. Acree pleaded guilty to engaging in organized crime and murder in January 2016 and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Charles James “CJ” Garrett Jr.

Garrett, a de facto major of the Aryan Brotherhood at the time of Childers’ slaying, reportedly led the attack on Childers, then instructed others to clean up the crime scene. Police believe he helped transport Childers’ body to the Hurst grooming business where it would later be dismembered. A jury found Garrett guilty in March 2016 of engaging in organized crime and sentenced him to 50 years in prison.

Nelson Cody “Dizzy” Borders

Present inside the garage when Childers was attacked and killed, Borders admitted to police that he threw an extension cord to Acree, which was then used to choke Childers. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in July 2016 in exchange for 10 years in prison.

Justin Henry “Smiley” Hunsaker

A participant in the attack on Childers inside the garage, Hunsaker also is suspected by police of taking part in the dismemberment of Childers’ body at his mother’s dog-grooming business. A jury found Hunsaker not guilty of tampering with physical evidence and murder, but convicted him of engaging in organized crime/murder. He was sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Terry G. “TC” Corbin, 52

Brought to the Crosswicks Circle residence after Childers’ slaying to help dispose of the body, Corbin helped take Childers’ body to the Hurst dog-grooming business where others would later dismember it. He pleaded guilty in August to tampering with physical evidence in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence.

Felicia “Flee” Danae Brown, 25

Hunsaker’s girlfriend, Brown confessed to police that she used a reciprocating saw to dismember Childers’ body at the Hurst dog-grooming business. She later changed her to story, claiming it was Hunsaker who dismembered the body while she served as lookout. She pleaded guilty in March to tampering with physical evidence in exchange for two years’ deferred adjudication probation. Prosecutors say they intend to file a motion to revoke her probation, however, after she picked up new drug charges in Oklahoma. If probation is revoked, she faces up to 20 years in prison.

Robert Bruce Cypert, 47

Charged with tampering with evidence, Cypert is believed by investigators to have helped dismember Childers’ body. Cypert denied it but acknowledged to police being present when five buckets of concrete were being hauled away from the dog-grooming business in the back of Hunsaker’s pickup. He told police that he followed Hunsaker to an area near the Trinity River, where Hunsaker reportedly tossed the buckets into the river. The case against Cypert was dismissed in April in exchange for his cooperation.

Candace Whitten, 27

Whitten helped clean up the crime scene after Childers’ murder but was not charged in case because officials say she did so under the threat by Garrett that “she would be next.” She pleaded guilty, however, in May to an unrelated federal charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Concerned for her safety because she testified in Childers’ case, prosecutor Bill Vassar took the unusual step of testifying on her behalf during her federal sentencing in September. “Because of her cooperation, we took a lot of Aryan Brotherhood members off the streets and I believed that should be taken into consideration in her sentencing,” he told the judge. Whitten, who had faced up to 40 years in federal prison, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

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