A judge ordered no bond for the suspect charged in the death of a Terrell store clerk, who was one among five found killed Monday night in Terrell.
Charles Brownlow Jr. was arraigned by Judge Mike Smith just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. The 36-year-old suspect was charged with evading arrest and capital murder in the death of 22-year-old store clerk Luis Leal. Terrell police Chief Jody Lay said more charges are pending.
Leal was the last of five victims found by police during a deadly night in Terrell that began with the discovery of a body later determined to be Brownlow's 55-year-old aunt, Belinda Walker.
Police were called to the home where Walker's body was found after shots were heard in the area at about 5 p.m. About 30 minutes later and a few blocks away, a local firefighter spotted a fire at a home where the body of Brownlow's mother, 63-year-old Mary Brownlow, was discovered.
About five hours later, two more bodies were discovered at a nearby home where police also found a 3-year-old child uninjured in bed. Authorities identified the victims as 33-year-old Jason Wooden and 30-year-old Kelley Pratt, both acquaintances of Brownlow.
It wasn't long after the discovery of Wooden and Pratt that an officer spotted the suspect's vehicle at a local convenience store, where Leal was found fatally shot. According to a police affidavit, an off duty police officer working a security shift at a nearby Ford dealership heard of the murders on the radio and that Brownlow was a suspect.
The policeman, Sgt. J. Hobbs, knew Brownlow from past run-ins with Terrell officers. The affidavit says he began driving around the city searching for Brownlow's white Ford Focus. He found it at Ali’s Market at 700 W. Moore Ave.
Inside, Hobbs noticed Brownlow standing at the counter in a red jersey. The affidavit says Hobbs, who was in his personal vehicle, broadcast Brownlow’s location to other units and then drove through the lot “without stopping so as to not alert” the suspect. Hobbs parked nearby and watched Brownlow turn northbound on Bridge St. and eastbound onto W. Nash St.
He then saw Brownlow begin to evade officers who responded. And when Hobbs got back to the dealership, he noticed a fire truck parked at Ali’s Market with its lights activated. Hobbs went back, the affidavit says.
When he walked in, the firefighters asked Hobbs, “Do y’all have someone coming for this?”
“Sgt. Hobbs asked him what he was talking about,” the affidavit says. The firefighter said “there was a deceased person behind the counter."
The body was identified as Leal. He suffered a single gunshot wound to the forehead, the document says. It’s not clear whether Leal was alive when Hobbs saw Brownlow inside, however the suspect was standing behind the counter, the affidavit alleges.
Brownlow evaded police in car and on foot before he was found hiding in heavy brush early Tuesday morning, police said. He led police on a 150-yard foot chase but was located by a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter. He’d also killed four other people, attempted to kill another two unidentified people and stole beer from the convenience store, the document says.
After his arraignment Wednesday morning, Brownlow was transported to the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center.
WFAA's Marcus Moore and Matt Goodman contributed to this report