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Two Odessans arrested in connection with shotgun slaying - Odessa American: News

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Two Odessans arrested in connection with shotgun slaying

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Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016 6:28 pm

An Odessa woman accused of killing a 50-year-old transient with a 12-gauge shotgun at her home during the weekend and the man accused of helping her burn the body were both arrested Wednesday night on charges of murder.

 Audrey Dean Montgomery, 48, is accused of fatally shooting Fred Robinson on Saturday at Montgomery’s East Fifth Street home before his remains were moved with the help of the second suspect, Lacey Taylor, 56, to a nearby abandoned machine shop in the 200 block of Park Avenue and burned inside a barrel, Deputy Chief Lou Orras of the Odessa Police Department said.

 Officials said a preliminary investigation shows that Montgomery fired the shotgun blast that killed Robinson but she and Taylor weren’t arrested until about 11 p.m. Wednesday on charges of murder, a first-degree felony, and tampering with physical evidence, a second-degree felony, OPD spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur said during a press conference.

 No arrests were made until OPD detectives received confirmation from a Tarrant County medical examiner on Wednesday that the bones police officers found in the barrel were, in fact, human, and that were later identified to be those of Robinson, LeSueur said. The news about Robinson’s death, and of the subsequent arrests, weren’t made public until Thursday.

 Taylor, described by police as an “associate” of Montgomery’s, is suspected of helping her move Robinson’s body. Montgomery, 1400 E. Fifth St., and Taylor, 218 Park Ave., were both being held Thursday at the Ector County Detention Center on $500,000 bond each.

 Police said they did not know a motive. But a probable cause affidavit read that a tipster, or as police described a “cooperating witness,” alerted the OPD about Robinson’s killing on Saturday, adding that Montgomery had recently spoken to the witness and reportedly said “she had shot the male with a 12-gauge shotgun.”

 The male, later identified as Robinson, had lived with Montgomery at one time, and that the floor at Montgomery’s house had been recently “torn up.” There was unspecified “biological evidence” at the scene that led officers to believe “a homicide had been committed,” the affidavit reported.

 Robinson was dead before his body was set ablaze inside the barrel, said LeSueur, who declined to say whether the shotgun was registered to Montgomery, or reveal any other details about Robinson’s murder, as the investigation is still ongoing. It’s possible that Montgomery and Taylor were in a “boyfriend and girlfriend” relationship but that wasn’t confirmed, LeSueur said.

 Police found burned bones in a burn barrel inside a building at 218 Park Ave., where Taylor listed his residence, police reported. The affidavit stated that Montgomery told the witness that the body was burned by Taylor. The barrel, and its contents, were sent over to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office for analysis. The torso was x-rayed, which showed the victim had multiple shotgun pellets in the shoulder area, the affidavit reported.

 Orras said Robinson was a transient, but frequented the abandoned machine shop.

 Fred Robinson's 25-year-old son, Denzel, of Odessa, said he didn’t find out until Thursday, which left him stunned.

 “That’s crazy. I was the only family he had (here).”

 The last time Denzel Robinson saw his father alive was eight or nine months ago, he said, and that he “as far as he knew” didn’t have a job and had been “back and forth” seeking treatment at Medical Center Hospital. Denzel Robinson said he wasn’t certain why his father was at MCH but had visited him about eight months ago there.

 Denzel Robinson said he has an older brother and mother who both live in Hobbs, NM. Denzel Robinson said his father and his mother, Lanora, were married but had been separated for the past 15 years. Denzel Robinson’s fondest recollection of his father was the time he gave him two Chevrolet Camaros during his youth, which Fred Robinson would fix.

 “We never really kept in touch the way we should have,” Denzel Robinson said.

 Denzel Robinson said police told him his father had once stayed at the home where he was slain and had gotten into some sort of an argument before Fred Robinson was shot to death.

 “We really weren’t that close,” Denzel Robinson said.

 Fred Robinson’s wife, Lanora, said Thursday she was on her way to Odessa to find out more about what happened to the man she recalled as being a quiet but easygoing person who loved working on cars.

 But Lanora Robinson couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to harm Fred.

 “I don’t understand. I don’t understand what was the reason why,” Lanora Robinson said.

 Lanora explained that no one in the family knew of Fred Robinson’s whereabouts after she had moved back to Hobbs, where Lanora was raised, about a month ago. Fred Robinson left behind relatives who live in Lubbock and Seminole, and parts of California, but he was originally from Banning, Ca., a small, rural city in western Riverside County.

 Despite having relatives in Texas and elsewhere, Fred Robinson never got to meet his 2-year-old granddaughter Alaya Robinson, who is the daughter of his eldest son DeQuan, Lanora said.

 Lanora still had fond recollections of the estranged husband she once knew as a doting father who loved to spend time with his boys.

 “Fred was a people-person. He loved everyone,” Lanora Robinson said. “He knew everyone.”

 Two business owners near the abandoned machine shop said they’ve seen Taylor around but knew him as “LT,” and one of them said Taylor worked at the shop before it closed in 2008.

 Taylor has a criminal history dating back to 1988, with 17 reported arrests to the Texas Department of Public Safety ranging from misdemeanor traffic offenses to drug possession and evading arrest convictions, both state jail felonies.

 Montgomery’s criminal history goes back to 1987, with 11 reported arrests. A number of Montgomery’s arrests and convictions were on drug possession charges, the most serious of which being a 10-year prison sentence in 1994 on a first-degree felony drug manufacturing/delivering charge. She also was convicted on a misdemeanor prostitution charge in 1998.

Odessa, TX

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