3 of 4 suspects in fabricated double shooting charged with engaging in criminal activity
By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor
August 26, 2008 - Three of the four people implicated in a double shooting plan designed to influence civil court action had been arrested as of Tuesday morning for engaging in organized criminal activity -- aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Robert Mitchell Alexander Jr., 19, Cayla Denece Ray, 17, and Michael Anthony Fuller, all of Sulphur Springs, had been arrested Tuesday on first-degree felony warrants for engaging in criminal activity. Ray was also charged with tampering with evidence. A fourth person has been implicated but as yet not been arrested for his part in the criminal activity, according to Sulphur Sulphur Sgt. Detective David Gilmore.
The engaging in organized criminal activity charge was enhanced to a first-degree felony because the plot involved two men, brothers, shooting each other with a firearm, a deadly weapon, according to Gilmore.
Police were told Tuesday morning, Aug. 19, just after 1 a.m. two men, brothers, had been shot at a Church Street apartment by three masked individuals.
As police further investigated the crime, talking with the two men who were injured as well as two others said to have been present at the Church Street apartment during the shooting, they began receiving several inconsistencies in the four people's reports. All four "witnesses -- which included the two brothers, a girlfriend and another man -- eventually admitted the two brothers had made up the story, and the other two aided in the telling of it, according to Gilmore.
The shooting and crime scene was "staged" by the four individuals involved. After the designated pair was shot, they were taken to the hospital and questioned. The motive was reportedly an attempt to gain favor in the upcoming civil suit.
One of the brothers, who shot each other, is involved in a custody dispute with the mother of his child. The double shooting was hatched in an apparent attempt to gain sympathy and to blame the mother of the child for instigating the attack, Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk told the News-Telegram last week.
Police recovered the weapon and interviewed all four individuals allegedly involved. They all reportedly confessed to involvement in the incident.
Ray, girlfriend of the brothers, was arrested Friday for tampering with evidence and Monday also charged with engaging in criminal activity. Alexander was arrested Monday while Michael Anthony Fuller was charged Tuesday morning with engaging in organized criminal activity-aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a first degree felony offense. Ray was released Monday from jail after posting bond on both charges. The fourth person involved has yet to be taken into custody.