1 of 7 suspects on lam before capture

One of seven suspects charged with capital murder last month temporarily escaped house detention before being caught by Ector County deputies more than a week later.

The suspect, 28-year-old David Dearick, was placed on the Home Detention Program to serve 150 days under house arrest after being convicted Feb. 2 of three counts of theft and one count of an accident involving damage to a vehicle, class B misdemeanors, a probable cause affidavit stated.

During that time, Dearick had also been charged with capital murder, a capital felony, along with six others who reportedly kidnapped 26-year-old Fred McNeal and then assaulted and sexually assaulted him before burying his body in August. Jail records show Dearick was taken to the Ector County Detention Center March 7 before being released on a $250,000 bond March 13.

After almost two months under home detention, the report detailed, the Ector County Post Sentence Department received an email April 1 from the monitoring service used by Ector County that Dearick had left his residence without permission.

After making two unsuccessful attempts to reach Dearick the next day by telephone, voice messages were sent to Dearick’s ankle bracelet, which Dearick acknowledged by failure to call, the affidavit detailed.

Dearick’s uncle, Joel Madden, told Dearick’s post sentence monitoring officer that day Dearick had taken off the night before in his grandmother’s pickup truck and they had no idea where he had gone, the affidavit stated. The mapping on Dearick’s GPS transmitter showed Dearick to be at a residence in the 900 block of West 26th Street, the report detailed.

Post Sentence Monitoring Director Jimmy Ruiz and the officer went to the area to try and locate Dearick, where they found Dearick’s grandfather and uncle, who had located the pickup, the report stated.

They told the officers Dearick was in a trailer at the back of the residence and went over to talk Dearick into turning himself in, the report detailed. Dearick reportedly took off running after he saw the two officers. His grandfather told the officers Dearick had taken off and was high on methamphetamine.

Later that day, post sentence monitoring received another email from the monitoring service that Dearick’s GPS transmitter had been removed, the release stated.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Dearick, and he was captured eight days later on April 11, and charged with escape, a class A misdemeanor.

Jail records show Dearick was taken to the Ector County Detention Center Tuesday, and has two bonds totaling $251,000.

Dearick and four others who were charged with McNeal’s death were still booked in the Ector County Detention Center as of Thursday afternoon, jail records showed.

McNeal had been reported missing by his sister in September, and was found a month later in a shallow grave on a property near Sheep Pasture Road and F.M. 181.

The six other suspects charged include Wesley Dickenson, 48, Jose Ramirez, 35, Jennifer Rogers, 29, Michael Silvas, 35, Mikel Stegall Jr., 38, and Eddie Barnes, 43.

A probable cause affidavit stated McNeal was kidnapped by the group on Aug. 14 and taken to a travel trailer in the 1800 block of South Shawnee Trail, where he was reportedly bound, assaulted and sexually assaulted, and died while being held by the suspects.

The suspects then reportedly covered McNeal’s body with tape, a tarp and plastic and buried him, the affidavit detailed.

All seven suspects were charged with capital murder on March 7.

Dickenson is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon in January, court records show, and Stegall is in federal custody for prior drug charges, Sheriff Mike Griffis previously said.