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Crime Spree in Grimes County Lands One in Jail

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

Bedias resident Travis Hough said a loud noise woke him up before dawn Sunday. He went to find out what the noise was and what he discovered had him fearful for his life.

"As I opened the door of the front room there was a guy sitting there with a .45 caliber," Hough said.

Marcus Lair, 30, of Houston and Rhonda Ellis, 30, of Bedias broke their way into his home. They tied up everyone in the house with telephone cords and told Hough what they wanted.

"We want 300 dollars this morning or somebody's going to die," Hough said one suspect told him.

Hough said Lair pointed the gun at his brother, his dad, and himself several times, threatening to kill them. Hough's father managed to get away to call Sheriff's deputies.

The couple ended up robbing Hough and then sped down SH 90 to FM 244 where they rolled their vehicle. Moments after the accident, being a good samaritan Tom Johanson stopped.

"There was someone there laying on the ground," Johanson said.

When he came upon the accident scene, Johanson initially called the sheriff's office who told him to get back in his truck. He said he observed Lair trying to pull up Ellis who was lying on the ground covered in blood. He said he did not want Ellis to become more injured than she was.

Johanson said he told Lair that help was on the way, but before he could leave Lair ordered him to help his accomplice.

"He pulled the gun out of his pocket put it at my head and said help me load her back in the truck," Johanson said.

Johanson said he complied. In fear of his life, he said he knocked the gun out of Lair's hand and the two began to scuffle. Lair was able to get the gun again and Johanson said he pointed at him once more and threatened to pull the trigger.

Johanson said when he was finally able to get Ellis into his personal truck, he made a mad dash for the hill jumping over a fence and running through briars.

Lair and Ellis fled in Johanson truck. The Grimes County Sheriff's dispatcher was able to alert deputies that the suspects were likely in Johanson's vehicle.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell said they were able to spot the truck quickly.

"Mr. Johanson put his flashers on as he was approaching the accident," Sowell said.

Sowell said the suspects did not turn them off. The sheriff aided deputies in setting up a road block near the Anderson-Shiro Elementary School.

Lair and Ellis were able to get past it. The couple was eventually taken into custody more than two miles south of Anderson. Hough and Johanson said this Father's Day they are glad to be alive.

Sheriff Sowell said Marcus Lair was arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. Rhonda Ellis was transported to College Station Medical Center for injures she sustained during the rollover. The investigation is on-going and Ellis could face charges.


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