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Police: Botched marijuana robbery led to murder of Abilene teenager

ABILENE, Texas - Abilene police say a plot to steal marijuana is what led to the death of 19-year-old Bronson Boyles in late July.

In court documents filed Friday afternoon, Abilene police say one of the suspects charged with murder in Boyles’ death admitted to planning the robbery, but when it didn’t happen, a scuffle turned into a fatal shooting.

D’audre Hight-Ealy, who is currently in the Taylor County Jail on the murder charge, told police that he and several other murder suspects, D’Jaman West and Jerel Mathis, discussed robbing someone for marijuana on July 29 when another person said that Boyles had marijuana in the apartment below them.

The group all agreed on robbing “the white boy downstairs,” according to the court documents, and went to his apartment in the 1000 block of S. Clack Street.

Court documents say the group found that Boyles didn’t have very much marijuana, and Hight-Ealy claims he told them “never mind.” Police say Hight-Ealy didn’t detail what he did to abandon the robbery plan.

Mathis spoke to detectives and said everyone left Boyles’ apartment and went to another apartment. He said a scuffle then broke out between West and Boyles in another apartment, and then West shot him, according to the documents. Hight-Ealy also consistently said that West shot Boyles. Police say West claims that Hight-Ealy shot Boyles.

Hight-Ealy told police he ran to his car, and West, Mathis, and another man also got in. Hight-Ealy said West told the group that if they identified him as the shooter, he would shoot them, according to the documents.

Hight-Ealy said he let West hide the gun used to shoot Boyles under his backyard shed until West’s girlfriend retrieved it the next day, the documents state.

The court documents also state that DNA evidence found in blood on Hight-Ealy’s shoes links him to Boyles’ death. Police also say that the shooting was foreseeable because Hight-Ealy said the group was aware of West’s gun.

Hight-Ealy remains in the Taylor County Jail on charges of murder and aggravated robbery, along with several past charges. His bonds total $720,000. West is also being held on murder and aggravated robbery charges, along with an aggravated robbery charge out of Bexar County. His bonds total a little over $700,000. Mathis is charged with murder and aggravated robbery and is being held on $700,000 bond.

The documents name additional people involved in the planning of the robbery, but they have not been charged at this time.


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