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Police Arrest Soldier, Another Man in Dance Club Killings

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A disgruntled former strip club employee and a Fort Hood soldier have been arrested in the slayings of four people over the weekend in violence that erupted after the worker was fired from the club, authorities said.

The two men may have plotted to kill as many as nine others, said Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith.

Richard L. Tabler, 25, of Killeen, and Timothy Doan Payne, 18, a private with the 4th Infantry Division, each were charged with two counts of capital murder on Monday, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said. They were in custody in the Bell County jail awaiting arraignment.

The victims were identified as Haitham Frank Zayed, 28; Mohamed-amine Rahmouni, 25; Tiffany Loraine Dotson, 18, all of Killeen; and an unidentified woman in her 20s. All were shot to death.

According to authorities, Tabler had a confrontation with Rahmouni, believed to be owner of the club, after being fired from Teazers night club in Killeen. Investigators said Tabler, who was arrested Sunday, told them Rahmouni had threatened to have Tabler and his family killed for as little as $10.

Tabler then plotted to kill Rahmouni and lured him and Zayed to a location near Fort Hood on Friday under the guise of buying stolen property and killed them, police said.

Police said Tabler became fixated on other employees of the club who he believed had wronged him and set out to kill several others and even made a "hit list."

Tabler lured the two women victims, both of whom were believed to be dancers at the club, to another remote spot with the promise of crack cocaine on Sunday, then killed both women with multiple gunshots to the head and body, police said.

Tabler, who also goes by the nickname "Blue", was initially arrested Sunday on a felony theft warrant issued by Killeen police.

Payne was arrested early Monday after Tabler told police Payne also was involved in the homicides. Investigators said they had obtained confessions from both suspects but they would not discuss the extent of Payne's involvement in the slayings.

Garza's office filed formal murder charges against Tabler and Payne in the slayings of the two men. He would not comment on potential charges in the deaths of the two women, and the sheriff's office declined further comment.

A woman who answered the phone at the club on Monday afternoon declined to comment.


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