Murder of Abilene Mother Now Being Prosecuted in Callahan County


CALLAHAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Callahan County District Attorney’s Office is now in charge of prosecuting two suspects connected to the murder and disappearance of an Abilene mother.

District Attorney Shane Deel told KTAB and KRBC a Callahan County Grand Jury indicted Justin Bennett, 32, on a Murder charge for the death of Meagan Dearman. He was originally charged for the crime in Taylor County, but that charge has been dismissed now that his case has been transferred.

Jennifer Herod, 35, the second suspect connected to Dearman’s murder, is also facing prosecution in Callahan County for a Tampering with Evidence charge. Her case has not been reviewed by a Grand Jury, but the charge, originally issued in Taylor County, has been re-filed in Callahan County. 

Herod was scheduled to have a bond reduction hearing Thursday afternoon, but that hearing has been postponed to an undetermined date. She’s now being held in jail on a $150,000 bond for the Tampering with Evidence charge. 

Dearman was found deceased at T&P Lake in Callahan County days after she was last seen alive on January 17, 2017.

A medical examiner was able to determine she was killed by strangulation.

Bennett was charged with Murder the day after her body was found.

Court documents related to Herod’s case reveal “cell phone records indicate that Justin Bennett and Jennifer Herod were together in Abilene then drove out to T&P Lake together with Meagan Dearman’s corpse” on January 18, 2017.

The documents also say that Herod frequently let Bennett use her vehicle, and when she gave detectives consent to search that vehicle, they found Dearman’s blood inside.

Herod was not truthful with detectives when initially questioned about the murder and her whereabouts on January 18th, according to the documents.

Court documents related to Bennett’s arrest say one of Bennett’s acquaintances claimed Bennett “told her he go into a fight with Megan Dearman and hurt her bad.”

The documents say additional witnesses also told detectives Bennett had confessed to the crime, and Bennet’s shoe print was found near Dearman’s body at T&P lake.

A confidential informant then called police and said, “Justin Bennett had told them that he did kill Meagan Dearman and buried her body at a lake,” according to the documents.

Stick with BigCountryHomepage for the latest information on the Dearman murder. 

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