Exxon Kidnapping Suspect Makes First Appearance In Brazos County Court

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BRYAN – Brazos County may appoint an attorney for Nathaniel Tillery, the homeless man accused of attacking and kidnapping a College Station convenience store worker.

But we'll have to wait until next month to determine whether that will happen.

Tillery made his first appearance in a Brazos County courtroom Tuesday morning.

News 3 was the only TV station at the hearing.

We look at why Tillery was given more time.

Accused kidnapper Nathaniel Tillery spent only about 10 minutes in the 85th District Court in Bryan. He wore handcuffs and an orange jail jumpsuit.

He spoke very quietly in front of Judge Kyle Hawthorne but said he wasn't sure yet on what to do about legal counsel.

Tillery is accused of beating and kidnapping Drew's Exxon Convenience Store Clerk Kevin Garcia and driving him nearly 200 miles to north Fort Worth in the bed of Garcia's pickup truck one week ago.

Garcia's family decided to take him off life support on Friday because of critical head injuries.

First Assistant District Attorney Brian Baker says it's too soon to say if Nathaniel Tillery will face a murder charge for the death of Kevin Garcia. He says they're still in the investigation phase.

KBTX Legal Analyst Shane Phelps says Tillery will likely need a court-appointed attorney if this becomes a capital murder case.

"A capital murder case is probably financially prohibitive for almost all people and so I think there's a sense that if this thing turns in that direction that having a very qualified lawyer as quickly as possible," Phelps said.

Tillery told the court he needed more time to decide on an attorney.

Defense Attorney Patrick Meece isn't part of the case but gave some insight to these types of proceedings.

"It's my understanding they gave him ten days to find council. In the event that he is unable to afford or find council then they could appoint council to him," Meece said.

Tillery will be back in court with a decision on an attorney on April 2nd.

While Tillery may be unable to afford an attorney himself there's a chance someone could agree to cover the cost for him.

Under Texas law the State has 90 days to present Tillery's case to a grand jury.

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The suspect in the assault and kidnapping of a convenience store clerk made his first appearance in a Brazos County court room.

Nathaniel Tillery appeared Tuesday morning before Judge Kyle Hawthorne to be appointed an attorney. Tillery was not sure if he wants a court appointed attorney or whether he’ll hire his own. The judge is giving him 10 days to figure it out.

Tillery is due back in court on April 2.

College Station Police say Tillery attacked Kevin Garcia last week, threw him in the back of Garcia’s pickup truck and then drove to North Texas where he was arrested. Garcia died Friday after being taken off life support.

Police say they have located a man they believe may have inadvertently talked to Tillery shortly after the attack and not been aware of what just happened.

They say they were able to find him thanks to tips from the public that were generated by extensive media coverage.

Police say they have talked to the man and he is helping investigators.