A Texas man was charged with murder after investigators said he reportedly beat his mother’s ex-boyfriend to a pulp and dragged him behind a pick-up truck, where he was discovered dead. The body was apparently found after a neighbor called 911 to report a fire. Emergency personnel found a burnt-out truck with a body behind it.
Robert Eugene Hoffpauir, 37, was arrested and accused of murdering Roman Rodriguez, 60, the suspect’s mother’s ex-boyfriend, on Sunday night after neighbors reported a burning pick-up truck near the unincorporated village of Rye, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
When officers arrived, they discovered the body of a man – later identified as Rodriguez – behind the burned-out truck, Capt. Ken DeFoor, a sheriff’s office public information officer, said in a statement.
Rodriguez, according to investigators, went to the home of Hoffpauir and his mother, Timey Ann Cole, near Rye, Texas, on Saturday night and the two men got into an altercation about Rodriguez’s relationship with Hoffpauir’s mother. According to detectives, Hoffpauir badly battered Rodriguez before tying a tow strap around his waist and attaching it to his pick-up vehicle.
“During the altercation, Rodriguez was severely beaten into submission by Hoffpauir and tied up with a tow strap that was attached to his pick-up truck on one end,” said DeFoor.
According to authorities, Hoffpauir dragged Rodriguez a considerable distance from the home before dumping the truck and lighting it on fire.
DeFoor stated that it is unknown when the victim died during the incident and that an “autopsy will determine whether Rodriguez died before he was dragged by the truck or afterward.”
The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers are conducting an investigation.
According to DeFoor, Hoffpauir is now being held at the Liberty County Jail on a $1 million bond.
According to local news agency Bluebonnet News, Hoffpauir has also been charged with corpse abuse. Hoffpauir’s attorney information was not immediately available Tuesday night.