Capital Murder indictments handed down in kidnapping, killing of Abilene man

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Three suspects are now facing Capital Murder charges in connection to the death of an Abilene man who was missing for weeks before his body was found was tied up, beaten, and shot to death. 

Stephen Jennings, Garry Jennings, and David Navarro have all been indicted in Tom Green County for Capital Murder and Aggravated Kidnapping. Garry Jennings has been indicted for Tampering with Physical Evidence as well. 

A fourth suspect, Angella Wray, was indicted for Aggravated Kidnapping and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, and there are currently no records of any indictments against the fifth and final suspect, Kristen Dean (Jennings), charged with Capital Murder, Aggravated Kidnapping, and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. 

All charges are connected to the death of Abilene man Eric Torrez. 

Court documents state the incident began when Stephen Jennings sent Torrez a text message about a job on July 21, 2017, in order to lure him to his home on Duckworth Road in Tom Green County. 

Two other suspects, Kristen and Garry Jennings, admitted to knowing about this ploy to lure Torrez to Tom Green County so Kristen and Garry Jennings could travel to a home in Taylor County to gain access to a female child belonging to Torrez and Kristen Dean (Jennings), according to the documents. 

The documents also state that Garry Jennings told detectives Stephen Jennings admitted to shooting Torrez in the head, and Garry Jennings had observed Torrez’s body inside the Jennings home on Duckworth Road. 

Navarro also spoke to detectives, according to the documents, which state he said Stephen Jennings sent him several text messages on July 21, 2017, saying ‘the dudes on his way”, “I’m freaking out”, “I don’t know what to do”, and “I really need to talk to you”. Navarro also admitted he was at the home on Duckworth Road the day Torrez was killed.

A witness gave detectives further information about Torrez’s death. Documents state this witness received a text message from Navarro on July 21, 2017, stating he had “f***** up bad” and wanted to meet. 

The witness then met Navarro in a public parking lot, and when he arrived, the documents state he showed this witness “a video on his cell phone that depicted a Hispanic male subject that appeared to be sitting down and restrained with his arms down to his side”. She recognized the subject as Torrez from a picture she had seen.

The documents also state this witness described what she saw on the video to detectives, saying the subject was bleeding from multiple places and looked like he had been beaten. She also stated he looked tired and wore out as if he had been there for some time, and she said she observed the subject moving, but he was not being combative or speaking.

Next, this witness heard Navarro yelling on the video, according to the documents, which state a suspect wearing the same clothes Navarro was wearing in store surveillance footage from the same day Torrez was killed, stepped onto the screen and and struck Torrez, causing him to grunt. 

Four days after Torrez disappeared, investigators were able to ping his cell phone’s last known location, which was about 600 yards from the Jennings home on Duckworth Road, according to the documents.

A search warrant was executed at the residence two days later after detectives spoke with Kristen Dean (Jennings) and Garry Jennings, and when officers arrived inside, they found blood spatter in the area where Garry Jennings had reported seeing Torrez’s body, which was found in a rural area of Crockett County on August 4, 2017.

The court documents state a medical examiner determined he was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. 

Stephen Jennings and David Navarro were taken into custody and charged with Murder in connection to Torrez’s death. Garry Jennings and Kristen Dean (Jennings) were taken into custody and charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity – Murder, along with a fifth suspect, Angella Wray. Both Stephen and Garry Jennings are also charged with Tampering with Evidence. 

San Angelo Live reports Wray is accused of babysitting Kristen and Stephen Jennings’ children while they kidnapped and killed Torrez. 

All five suspects are being held in jail on bonds totaling at least $500,000. 

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