UPDATE: Rocha murder trial continues in Brownwood

Rocha murder trial continues in Brownwood

BROWNWOOD, Texas - More witnesses testified on Wednesday in the Brownwood murder trial of 22-year-old Pedro Rocha Jr.

Rocha is one of four men charged with killing Ronald Philen in 2009 when they broke into his home, trying to steal marijuana.

Brownwood Police Corporal Stephanie Morgan depicted to the jury the night she arrived at the Philen residence. She and a trainee were the first on scene. They arrived within a few minutes of the 911 call, with other officers arriving shortly after.

Morgan said they were flagged down by the dead man's brother, Randall Philen.

"At first it was a little difficult to communicate because he made sounds rather than words so we couldn't understand the nature of the problem," Morgan said. 

Once they sat him down on the porch and got him under control, Morgan said Philen pointed toward the back of the house.

"Mr. Philen indicated he'd heard five shots and that his brother was dead on the floor," Morgan said.

Morgan said she found Ronald Philen on the opposite side of the entry way to his bedroom. He was lying on his left side, not moving and appeared to be dead.

A video of the crime scene, which was shot about two hours after the incident, was presented to the jury. The video showed Ronald's body on the floor, covered in blood. He had a gash behind his head. Blood was also visible around the bed, on the sheets, and on the wall. However, there weren't any bloody footprints to other areas of the house.

Photos of the interior of the house were also shown. Shortly after, the bedroom door panel that was knocked down during the incident was brought in before the jury.

During cross examination, Morgan said she found it odd when Randall asked her and the officers to "go in and make sure my brother is dead" because he was unsure.

Former detectives Larry Owings and Bruce Spruill also took the witness stand Wednesday. Two of the men who pled guilty to murdering Philen have already testified.

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