Jason Rhodes.PNG

Jason Rhodes

The Tyler Police Department has named a third suspect connected to a shooting that killed a 17-year-old in June outside of a Tyler residence.

Detectives issued an arrest warrant on July 26 for Jason Rhodes Jr., 20, of Tyler, for capital murder with a bond set at $1 million.

Rhodes along with Andres Urrutia, 19, and Lorenzo L. Martinez, 21, also both of Tyler, are accused of killing Jesse McNeely, 17, of Tyler, outside of McNeely’s residence in the 3200 block of Omega Drive early morning on June 30.

Urrutia and Martinez were arrested on July 3 in Dickinson in Galveston County, and they remain in the Smith County Jail.

Anyone with information on Rhodes’ whereabouts or this case is asked to call the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000 or call Tyler-Smith County Crime Stoppers at 903-597-2833. The case remains under investigation.

According to the arrest affidavit, the suspects were trying to rob McNeely and his friend outside of a residence in Tyler.

McNeely was speaking with his friend outside of his home when a vehicle pulled up and a man got out with a handgun. The man from the car demanded McNeely and his friend’s property. They said they didn’t have anything, so he told them to give him their car keys.

McNeely and his friend started fighting with the man trying to rob them, and during the struggle, McNeely was shot and killed, the affidavit stated.

Surveillance video showed the fight began between McNeely and the man from the car. McNeely’s friend got involved in the fight and then a second man got out of the vehicle to help the first man. The detective noticed the flash from the gun during the fight followed by another flash. The second shot struck McNeely and the two men from the car fled, the document read.

After tips came in to police, Urrutia and Martinez were found in Galveston County. Urrutia was wanted for an aggravated robbery, deadly conduct, criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Urrutia’s bonds total $1.9 million, while Martinez’s bond is at $1 million.

 
 

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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.