LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police have arrested three more suspects in connection with the murder of Robert Darnell Bennett who was found shot to death at his home on Feb. 7.
Jesus Everado Vela, 17, of Lufkin, Osvaldo Hernandez-Escamillia, 18, and Geraldo Renteria, 18 were taken into custody around 8 a.m. Monday. Cpl. Travis Strickland said they are looking for another suspect identified as Rafael Orta Jr., 20. All three men are charged with capital murder.
Police arrested Jacob Alexander Woodard, 18, of Lufkin, on Saturday.
Strickland confirmed the five are suspected in Bennett's death.
Officers responded to a disturbance-in-progress call at a house located at 1400 California Boulevard. Lufkin Police Lieutenant Ronnie Larue said dispatchers relayed to first responders that shots had been fired. Once inside the house, police found a man, later identified as Bennett, with an apparent gunshot wound. Larue said officers checked for a pulse, but the victim was unresponsive.
Strickland said the investigation revealed that the five came to Bennett's house to rob him of marijuana. He said evidence from phone records and witness statements connected them to Bennett's death. It appears Woodard was the one who shot Bennett, Strickland said.
Woodard has previous arrests for terroristic threat, evading arrest and public intoxication on his record. His bond is set at $250,000.
Vela was arrested in 2007 on a charge of public intoxication. His bond is set at $500,000.
Hernandez was arrested in 2011 on a charge of resisting arrest. His bond is set at $500,000.
Renteria's bond is also set at $500,000.
Lufkin Police think the men showed-up on Bennett's doorstep looking for drugs.
"It was a set-up robbery," Strickland said. "It was what they call a rip because they were going to rob a drug dealer in their knowledge. I'm not saying Mr. Bennett was a drug dealer, I'm just saying that's what we're thinking they were doing."
And that's why officials say all five will share the same charge.
"The fact they all went to rob this individual and a murder took place therefore they all would be charged with capital murder," Strickland said.
Jesus Vela posted bond Friday night through his attorney.
Gerado Renteria has been placed on ICE hold for being in the country illegally.
Lufkin Police are encouraging th public to call Crime stoppers if they have any information that may lead to Orta's arrest.