Bryan Man Admits to Smothering Mom for Money, Drugs

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email

47-year-old Bryan man is under arrest after admitting to police that he smothered his mother with a pillow for drugs and cash.

On April 4th, Bryan Police officers were called to the 4100 block of Old Hearne Road to investigate the death of 79-year-old Velma Bryant.

According to police documents, officers spoke with Bryant's daughter Paula. She told investigators she found Bryant dead inside her home and noticed her mother's 40" flat screen TV, microwave and 2006 Chevrolet Impala were missing. Paula also told police that her brother, Phillip Wade Ortega, lived with Bryant and had a drug addiction.

Police say witnesses saw Ortega standing next to the Chevy Impala around 3 o'clock that morning. After searching locally, officers couldn't locate Ortega. Bryan PD notified other law enforcement agencies about Ortega.

On April 17th, detectives with Conroe Police Department called to say that Ortega was in their custody. While investigating a report of a stolen air conditioning unit, Conroe PD approached Ortega and he admitted to killing his mother.

Bryan Investigators travelled to Conroe and spoke with Ortega. He told them that he was arguing with his mother the night she died. Ortega told police that he went to his room and started smoking crack. He told police that he "just snapped" and went into Bryant's room and smothered her with a pillow.

According to the arrest report, Ortega crawled onto top of his sleeping mother, took the pillow from near her head and placed it on top of her face. Using both hands, he pressed down. Ortega told police his mother struggled under his hands and tried to pull at his arms. Investigators say that Ortega knew his mother was dead before he left the room.

Police say that the items Ortega took from Bryant's house, as well as the Chevy Impala, were sold for cash and drugs.

Ortega is in the Brazos County Jail under $99,000 bond.


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