2 men indicted in connection to Grapeland woman found in shallow grave

2 men indicted in connection to Grapeland woman found in shallow grave
Earl Williams and Kelly Knight (Source: Houston County Jail)
Earl Williams and Kelly Knight (Source: Houston County Jail)
Allus Hubbard (Source: Houston County Jail)
Allus Hubbard (Source: Houston County Jail)
Kelly Knight (Source: Houston County Jail)
Kelly Knight (Source: Houston County Jail)

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Houston County grand jury indicted two of the men arrested in connection to the murder of Vanessa Melson, whose body was found in a shallow grave on July 7, 2015.

Robert David Mobley Jr., of Palestine, and James Eddie Henderson, of Crockett, were both indicted on first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping charges.

The text of Mobley's indictment states that he abducted Melson and held her "with the intent to inflict bodily injury" on her or "to violate or abuse" her sexually and used a deadly weapon (a club or a stuck) in the commission of the crime. His bail amount has been set at $50,000 for the charge.

In addition, Henderson and Brenna Michelle Theuer, of Elkhart, were previously charged with third-degree felony tampering with or fabricating evidence.

Back in August of 2015, two third-degree felony arrest warrants were also issued for Mobley. At the time, he was being held at a "federal holding facility in the northeast portion of the United States." The warrants were for obstruction of justice and retaliation.

The arrest affidavit for Henderson said that on June 17, 2015, Jeff Melson, Vanessa Melson's stepfather, saw his stepdaughter leave his residence at about 11 p.m. and get into a gray 2014 Chevrolet pickup. In a video interview with a Houston County Sheriff's Office investigator, Jeff Melson said that he recognized the driver of the pickup as Mobley and that it was the last time he saw Vanessa Melson alive, the affidavit stated.
Mobley and Vanessa Melson arrived at the home Henderson shares with Theurer, his girlfriend at about 1 a.m. on June 17, 2015. Henderson and Theurer said in video statements that Mobley and Melson were in a heated argument that escalated to the point that it became physical, the affidavit stated.

"In separate interviews, both Henderson and Theurer state that Mobley was beating Vanessa Melson as well as shooting her up repeatedly with methamphetamine," the affidavit stated. "Mobley told both Henderson and Theurer that Melson was a snitch and had to be dealt with, so he could wash his hands of the matter."

Henderson allegedly told authorities that when he and Mobley went outside, the other man told him that he would kill him if he called law enforcement.

"Henderson, in fear for his life, agreed to be quiet and, in his words, told Mobley to, 'handle your business,'" the affidavit stated.

In her video statement, Theurer told authorities that Vanessa Melson was screaming in pain at 6 a.m. on June 17, 2015 adding that she was begging for her life and to be allowed to see her children, the affidavit stated.

"Robert Mobley would only tell her to shut the f--- up," the affidavit stated. "Theurer confronted Mobley and told him to stop. Then, according to Theurer, Mobley approached her and told her she would be next if she did not shut up and that he would kill her if she contacted law enforcement."

The affidavit stated that as the beating got worse, Theurer told Henderson she was going to call 911, but he told her to sit down and shut up before she was next. Theurer told authorities that because she was in fear for her life that she fled to the back of the house.

About 15 minutes later, Vanessa Melson grew quiet, and Theurer went back into the den area of the home, where she saw Mobley and Henderson facing away from her and looking "at Vanessa Melson's still body laying partially in the laundry room and partially in the garage," the affidavit stated.

At that point, Theurer ran out of the home, and Henderson joined her a short time later, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, Mobley showed up at Henderson's home unannounced on July 4, 2015 and asked if Theurer "could keep her mouth shut or would he have to do it for her." Henderson allegedly told Mobley that he would make sure that his girlfriend kept her mouth shut.

On July 7, 2015 cadaver dogs found Vanessa Melson's partially buried on Henderson's property about 115 yards southeast of his home. A portion of the body was protruding from the ground. Texas Rangers were called in to assist with processing the scene and to exhume the body.Vanessa Melson's body was taken to a medical examiner's office.

Henderson and Theurer were both arrested on outstanding warrants on July 30, 2015. They both agreed to talk to the investigator that requested the arrest affidavit.

"James Eddie Henderson stated he had burned what he knew by personal knowledge to be Vanessa Melson's white purse, cell phone, and all the purse's contents," the affidavit stated. "He continued by saying that he poured lamp fluid on the items to ensure they completely burned."
Henderson told Mobley on June 17 and again on July 4, 2015 that he needed to destroy Vanessa Melson's belongings, so law enforcement officers wouldn't find it, the affidavit stated.

In one of her later interviews, Theurer told the HCSO investigator that she had given Vanessa Melson;s boots to a woman in Palestine, the affidavit stated. After HCSO investigators traveled to Palestine and recovered the boots, they showed them to Henderson, and he allegedly confirmed they belonged to Vanessa Melson.

The Houston county grand jury also indicted Kayleigh Davis and Earl Williams, both of Georgia, for two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest with a vehicle. Williams was also indicted for possession of a firearm by a felon.

Back in March, the duo with Aryan Brotherhood ties led authorities on a high-speed chase through Crockett and Grapeland in which one of them fired a shotgun at the pursuing police vehicles. Two Crockett police card were struck with bird shot during the chase.
The chase ended after Williams, the driver, turned down FM 228 and drove about five miles before he hit a fence. A fence post went through the suspect car's front windshield, but it didn't hit Williams or Davis, according to Crockett Police Chief David Cross.

Both people took off on foot, but were captured a short time later, Cross said.

In addition, the Houston County grand jury indicted Allus Bernard Hubbard, of Houston, on an aggravated robbery charge. Hubbard was one of the four people that have been in charged in connection to a bank robbery that occurred in Lovelady in December of 2015.

Two Lovelady State Bank employees were pistol-whipped during the robbery, according to a bank official.

Three men robbed the bank on December, 17, 2015 before heading south on State Highway 19. A deputy with the Trinity County Sheriff's Office caught up to them and they bailed out of the car, holding handguns. The deputy fired his, gun at them and one of the robbers collapsed and was arrested.

The grand jury also indicted Kelly Jean Knight for injury to a child causing serious bodily injury in connection to a case in which her boyfriend, Ryan Keith Minchew, is accused of throwing a 2-month-old child from the bed to the floor, causing injuries to the child.

According to the affidavit, Knight and Minchew did not seek medical treatment for the baby. Minchew has already been indicted on an injury to a child charge.

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