Affidavit reveals robbery plot that turned into murder of Tyler man

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Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 11:40 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 10:12 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler police arrested one man Monday morning and issued additional charges to two people already in jail, all in connection with a fatal shooting that took place in February.

According to Tyler Police Department Public Information Officer Andy Erbaugh, Anthony Lee Taylor, 48, of Tyler, was arrested early Monday morning at a residence in Tyler. He is charged with capital murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Warren Edward Rogers, 61, who was found dead inside his apartment in the 1600 block of West Mims Street on Monday, Feb. 6. Taylor was arrested without incident.

Also charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting are Herbert Simpson, 54, of Tyler and Stephanie Brasher, 42, of Tyler. Simpson and Brasher were already incarcerated in the Smith County Jail on separate charges.

In February, Rogers was found dead on the floor of his apartment by a woman who said she was his friend and sometimes took him to work or to the grocery store, as he did not own a vehicle. She stopped by his apartment and found the door open, the arrest affidavit states, and she saw Rogers on the floor in a pool of blood. She also smelled the strong odor of bleach, she said. She called police to report it.

When police arrived, she told them that she met Rogers when he was a client of her employer. He was a veteran, she said, and once a month receives a check of about $1,500 which he cashes. She believed that he might have been robbed of his cash, which may have led to the murder, the affidavit states.

Police got a search warrant and began investigating Rogers’ death in his apartment. They found powdery cleaning substances around his body on the floor, and they found someone’s partially-drunk bottle of Dr. Pepper. They also found blood droplets outside the door of Rogers’ apartment. Investigators took DNA swabs of both the blood droplets and the drink bottle.

The blood droplets returned a CODIS match for Herbert Simpson, 54. The drink bottle DNA belonged to a woman named Stephanie Brasher, 41.

In August, Brasher was located by Tyler police and was taken to the police department for questioning. She was also arrested due to multiple arrest warrants, including theft, the affidavit states.

Brasher explained to investigators that she and Rogers were friends, and that she had been to his apartment on several occasions. She named other people who were with her on the night Rogers was killed: Herbert “Peanut” Simpson, and Anthony “Beast” Taylor.

She said that she was with Simpson and Taylor in Taylor’s truck on the day of the murder. They dropped her off at Rogers’ apartment, and drove away. She said she had a bag of meth given to her by Simpson, and was told to give it to Rogers. She said Rogers paid Simpson for it via a CashApp card.

Brasher said she then hung out with Rogers in his apartment, playing games on her phone. She said 30 minutes went by when Simpson knocked on the front door. She said Rogers answered the door and the men began talking and then arguing. The argument became physical, she said, and then she claims she heard a gunshot.

She said she walked into the living room from the bedroom to see what had happened, the affidavit states, and saw Rogers face down on the floor. She said he had been shot by Simpson. She said she saw Simpson dripping blood, as he had accidentally shot himself in the hand, as well. Simpson then went into Rogers’ bedroom and took his CashApp card, cell phone and tablet.

She said that she and Simpson then left the apartment and got into Taylor’s truck. He was still in the driver’s seat, and they left the scene. She said that Simpson handed her the debit card and devices he had taken from Rogers’ apartment to hold until they arrived at an apartment on Houston St.

She said they then went to a small motel on Erwin St. instead of the apartment, as she claimed Simpson was getting “spooked.” She said Simpson left her alone in the room and she got hungry, so she used Rogers CashApp debit card to order food from a barbecue restaurant using a delivery service. She said she then used Rogers’ card twice more to order food during the next 24 hours, though she said she knew the card had been stolen.

On August 17, a man was brought to the police department to speak with investigators. He said he had information pertaining to the murder of Rogers. He identified the suspects in the murder case as Stephanie Brasher, Herbert Simpson, and Anthony Taylor. Among the details he shared with investigators was that he saw Simpson’s hand was bandaged up. He said Simpson admitted to him that he had shot and killed Rogers the previous night, and had accidentally shot himself in the hand.

He said Brasher also spoke with him, and said she was worried about getting caught, because she had left something behind at the crime scene, which was the drink bottle.

The man also said that Simpson had a child with a Tyler woman who had knowledge of the small gun safe where Simpson’s guns were, which may include the murder weapon. Officers obtained a search warrant to search the woman’s home where the small gun safe was said to be hidden. They found it in her home. It did contain the weapon that had been used in the murder.

That woman was also arrested, due to an active warrant for manufacture/deliver of a controlled substance.

After completing the investigation, arrest warrants were issued for Herbert Louis Simpson, Anthony Lee Taylor, and Stephanie Michelle Brasher.

Taylor is charged with capital murder by terroristic threat/other felony, and is held on a $1,000,000 surety bond.

Simpson is charged with capital murder by terroristic threat/other felony, and is held on a $1,000,000 surety bond.

Brasher is charged with capital murder by terroristic threat/other felony, as well as credit/debit card abuse and is held on a $1,250,000 surety bond.