Capital Murder Chargers, New Arrest in Leah Martin Case
Texas Rangers and Graham Police have announced new charges and a new arrest in the disappearance and homicide of Leah Martin. Martin was last seen alive on May 28, 2015. On August 8, Martin’s remains were found behind an abandoned home near Graham. On Tuesday, Graham Police Chief Tony Widner released the following statement regarding the new charges and arrest:
Graham Police and Texas Rangers conducted a third search of Blair’s Auto Repair and are formally charging three individuals in the murder of Leah Martin. On September 8, 2015 Investigators interviewed Billy Minkley Jr., and during that interview, implicated himself and others in the murder of Leah Martin, and also confessed to participation in a homicide that occurred in Fort Worth in 2014. That case is still being pursued by the Fort Worth Police Department.
Because of facts that came to light during the interview of Minkley a search of the premises where Leah Martin worked was conducted to search for evidence that was unknown to investigators at the time of the previous search warrant.
Suspects being charged with Capital Murder in the death of Leah Donnice Martin are identified as:
1) Billy Ray Minkley Jr. 42 years old of Graham;
2) Ross Earl Hellams, 42, of Graham, and
3) Elton Carroll Blair, 43, of Graham.
Blair and Hellams will also be charged with Tampering with Evidence to wit: a human corpse.
The Investigation in the disappearance of Leah Martin began on May 29, 2015 and investigators have worked diligently to investigate, identify, and arrest those responsible for taking her life. On August 5, 2015 investigators discovered the body of Leah Martin buried on property under the control of Ross Hellams.
Further Investigation implicated Minkley who later confessed to being part of the crime. “I am very pleased with the outstanding work by all the investigators from both agencies. The case was investigated in a thorough professional manner.” Chief of Police Tony Widner stated. Even with the arrests of these three individuals, Police advise the investigation is still ongoing.