ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An examining trial took place Wednesday morning for an Abilene murder victim’s brother-in-law accused of stealing several firearms from a local attorney. 

During the examining trial, a judge found there was enough evidence for Luke Sweetser, 45, to be charged with Theft of a Firearm in connection to the stolen guns. 

Abilene Attorney Randy Wilson took the stand during Sweetser’s examining trial and said he reported six guns stolen from his storage facility at an office building at North 1st Street and Pine Street in September. 

Wilson said he would check the facility every three-to-four weeks, and he didn’t know Sweetser had access to his office until after the guns went missing. 

The stolen guns were later found in a storage facility on Mesquite Street owned by the Niblo/Sweetser family while police were investigating the murder of Sweetser’s brother-in-law, Tom Niblo, 54. Niblo was shot and killed inside his home on the 3700 block of Woodridge Drive on December 12, 2016.

Niblo’s daughter Elizabeth Wallace testified during Sweetser’s examining trial as well. She confirmed her family owned the storage facility on Mesquite Street where the guns were found, and she said the safe that the guns were inside belonged to Sweetser. 

Wallace also stated she helped detectives gain access to the storage facility during the murder investigation. 

Abilene Police Detective Jeff Cowan also stated Wallace let police into the building on Mesquite, but they weren’t expecting to find the safe, so they had to get a separate search warrant to open it. They believed it could contain evidence related to Niblo’s murder.

When the safe was opened, detectives found the stolen guns inside, and Cowan says they were able to connect them to another case – the theft reported by Wilson. They also found some of Sweetser’s identifying information in the safe. 

Sweetser is being held the Taylor County Jail on a $400,000 bond for the Theft of a Firearm charge. He requested his bond be reduced to $15,000 and a hearing will take place on January 13, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

A Writ of Habeaus Corpus filed by Sweester’s attorney says the $400,000 bond is “unreasonable, excessive, and amounts to a denial of bail in violation of . . . right to reasonable bail under the 8th and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.”

The document also argues that the bail is excessive because Sweetser resides and works in Taylor County, has no criminal history, and has never failed to appear for a court date.

No suspect has been named in connection to Sweetser’s murder, but the investigation is ongoing. The Texas Department of Public Safety is now assisting the Abilene Police Department as they continue to follow leads. 

Check back with BigCountryHomepage for the latest information on this developing story.