ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An indictment against the brother-in-law of an Abilene realtor says he was the suspect who fired the fatal shot, ruling out the theory a hitman was used.
Luke Sweetser, 48, was arrested for Murder Thursday night after he was indicted for the death of realtor Tom Niblo, 54, who was shot and killed inside his home on the 3700 block of Woodridge Drive in December 2016.
During a press conference following the arrest, Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said Sweetser’s incarceration was the result of years of hard work from his team, combing through massive amounts of electronic evidence, which was processed with help from the FBI.
Chief Standridge declined to give comment on the specifics of the investigation during the press conference, saying he didn’t want to compromise any pending prosecution. However, court documents obtained by KTAB and KRBC give insight into the investigation.
The documents claim Sweetser and his wife, Anne Ellouise Sweetser, were involved in a dispute with Niblo over Niblo’s father’s estate. Anne Ellouise, Niblo’s sister, was not named an executor of her father’s will, but Niblo and her mother were.
The Sweetsers were “very upset” about this will and, “had made failed requests and attempts at changing the status of the executorship which led to verbal disputes between themselves and the deceased,” according to court documents.
One document, released in April 2018, revealed police were investigating the possibility that a hitman was used to commit the crime.
Detectives investigated a number that called Anne Ellouise multiple times on November 25 – just weeks before Niblo was killed – and learned it belonged to a felon convicted of multiple violent crimes. However, the nature of these phones calls was never determined.
The felon was also interviewed and denied having any knowledge of who Anne Ellouise was or why her number was in his contact history.
No further information about the possible hitman was ever released, and now Sweester’s indictment rules that theory out.
Both paragraphs of the indictment say Sweetser “intentionally and knowingly” shot Niblo with a firearm in December 2016.
Sweetser remains now remains held in the Taylor County Jail for the second time during this investigation.
He was first arrested two days after the murder when detectives found stolen firearms belonging to Abilene attorney Randy Wilson inside a safe owned by Sweetser while a search warrant was executed at a Niblo family storage facility on Mesquite Street.
That case is still going through court and has not been resolved.
Sweetser’s bond for Murder is currently set at $750,000.
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