Fort Worth

Man gets 12 years in gang-style killing of Fort Worth businessman

Dean Allen Walden arrives for his guilty plea agreement to the murder of Robert Dodson.
Dean Allen Walden arrives for his guilty plea agreement to the murder of Robert Dodson. Star-Telegram

A suspected gang member from Boyd was sentenced to 12 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to murder for his role in the 2012 slaying of a North Texas businessman.

Dean Allen Walden, 50, told investigators that he had started to shake Robert “Dodd” Dodson’s hand when another man reached from behind and strangled him.

Walden told investigators that he and Joseph “Joey” Dodson loaded the body of Robert Dodson, 44, into the victim’s own Dodge Nitro and later burned the vehicle and body at a remote gas well site in Johnson County, court records state. The Dodsons are not related.

Godley firefighters responding to the vehicle fire on Oct. 28, 2012, extinguished the blaze and saw Robert Dodson’s body in the back of the burned SUV.

His arms and legs had been bound with a metal cable.

Earlier in 2012, Claudia Hidic, 17, was shot and killed in Robert Dodson’s Fort Worth home in a robbery she orchestrated, authorities have said.

Officials have said the two homicides are not linked.

Godley firefighters responding to a vehicle fire on Oct. 28, 2012, extinguished the blaze and saw Robert Dodson's body in the back of the burned SUV.

But witnesses told investigators that gang members believed that Robert Dodson was an informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and that a hit had been put out on him after Hidic’s death.

Court documents indicate that the order to kill Robert Dodson came from the Aryan Brotherhood, in which Joseph Dodson is a member. Walden is purportedly a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, according to statements made by witnesses in court documents.

The documents say there was a rumor that the “Bosnians had a hit on everyone who was there when Claudia died.”

Robert Dodson reported to Fort Worth police in June 2012 that he had found a girl dead at the back door of his Tanglewood home, near TCU. Investigators learned that Hidic had planned a robbery of Dodson’s home after he refused to lend her money, police reported. She was shot in the head when a gunfight broke out during the robbery.

Terrance Crumley and Curtis C. Fortenberry, both former football stars at North Crowley High School, are serving prison sentences in Hidic’s death.

Robert Dodson was killed on what would have been Hidic’s 18th birthday, according to court documents.

Joseph Dodson, 34, of Burleson, and Walden, 50, of Boyd, were arrested in the case and accused of capital murder.

Joseph Dodson, who uses the street name “Shortsight,” was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June after pleading guilty to murder. He becomes eligible for parole in November 2027, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Details of Dodson’s death

According to court documents:

Joseph Dodson and his girlfriend were visiting Walden and his girlfriend at his Fort Worth home on Oct. 28, 2012, when Joseph Dodson said he needed to go to his Burleson house because Robert Dodson was there.

Witnesses said Walden put a gun into his waistband before the two men left for the house.

Walden told investigators that they had planned to rob an unidentified person when they went to Joseph Dodson’s house in the 100 block of Syble Jean Court that day.

The three men went upstairs, talked and smoked a marijuana cigarette.

Robert Dodson was preparing to leave and was shaking Walden’s hand when Joseph Dodson grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground. Joseph Dodson restrained Robert Dodson’s arms behind his back and Walden held his feet.

The men hogtied Robert Dodson with a red belt and other restraints before Joseph Dodson sat on the victim’s back and strangled him with a brown extension cord. After Robert Dodson was dead, Joseph Dodson took the victim’s phone and wallet and removed credit cards from the wallet.

30years, sentence for Joseph Dodson, who pleaded guilty last year to killing Robert Dodson.

Joseph Dodson covered Robert Dodson with a blanket, and the two men carried his body downstairs. Joseph Dodson backed Robert Dodson’s SUV up to the fence behind his house and Walden removed a fence panel.

“Joseph Dodson and Walden were attempting to temporarily hide the vehicle from sight while they loaded the remains of Robert E. Dodson II into the rear of the vehicle,” the records state.

Vehicle, body burned

Joseph Dodson drove away in the SUV, calling Walden soon after and telling him to meet him at a nearby gas station. There, Joseph Dodson told Walden to get some gasoline so they could burn the vehicle and body.

Walden drove back to his house, calling his girlfriend on the way and asking her to meet him outside with a can of fuel from the garage.

After getting the gas can, Walden met again with Joseph Dodson. The two men drove separately to the gas well site off County Road 915, where Walden waited in a pickup while Joseph Dodson burned the SUV.

The two men fled in the pickup.

Police later seized the gas can, the revolver that Walden had with him that day and the clothing that he wore that day from the Fort Worth house where Walden and his girlfriend lived.

Robert Dodson, the father of three children, was a vice president at Buckley Oil Co., a family-owned business in Dallas.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3