The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

March 30, 2012

Fugitive indicted in murder

HUNTSVILLE — The Walker County District Attorney’s Office decided to move forward with murder charges stemming from the death of a Houston woman four years ago in hopes of bringing her killer to justice.

A grand jury  indicted Neriah Louis Roberts of Houston on Wednesday for first-degree murder inr the death of Tierra Lechall Adams, a 25-year-old pregnant woman whose body was found March 26, 2008, in a shallow grave off Pinedale Road east of Interstate 45 in Walker County.

Adams went missing on Jan. 25, 2008, and shortly after, Roberts, who was the victim’s boyfriend, fled the country.

A warrant for his arrest was issued by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office eight days after Adams’ body was discovered.

Records show that Roberts flew to Venezuela, but his current whereabouts are unknown.

“We have been working on finding Roberts and dealing with other issues with this case, but as we have gone through the process, we decided to take it to the grand jury,” District Attorney David Weeks said Friday. “We figured that if we indicted him for murder and not capital murder where the death penalty would be an option, that it might be easier to extradite him once he is apprehended.”

At the time of Adams’ disappearance, Roberts said that the two had been arguing and she got out of his car somewhere in Houston.

Almost two months later, a Walker County resident called the sheriff’s office to report what was believed to be human remains located three-tenths of a mile down Pinedale Road.

The body was badly decomposed but matched Adams’ description. The remains were sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office, where they were confirmed to be that of the missing woman. The body also had several skull fractures and there were signs of injuries consistent with choking.

A witness came forward after Adams was found and said he had seen a black car and a man matching Roberts’ description stuck in the mud on Pinedale Road around the time Adams went missing. The witness said he helped the man get his car out of the mud and later identified Roberts in a photo lineup.

“The witness never went to the back of the car because it was so muddy,” Weeks said. “If he would have, he would have seen the grave because it was right behind the car.”

Weeks said another reason they did not pursue capital murder charges against Roberts is that it is unknown if the fetus she was carrying was alive at the time of Adams’ death because of the condition of her body.

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