By Cody Stark
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.
The grand jury also handed down the following indictments this week:
• Charles Ray Craft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
• Troy Francis Trotnic, sexual assault of a child.
• Marice Dontae Jenkins, aggravated robbery.
• Jerry Wade Miller, aggravated robbery.
• Stephen A. James, manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance.
• Daysy Llanos, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of abandon endanger child criminal negligence.
• Ray Carlton Brent, two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
• John Derrick Lottmann, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm by felon.
• Freddie Johnson, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
• Rochelle Alexander Griffin, possession of a controlled substance.
• Dario Barrios Jr., driving while intoxicated third or more.
• Marvin Utley, burglary of a habitation.
• Adam Fitzgerald Shepherd, theft of property.
• Clifford Odom Warren, possession of a controlled substance.
• Robert Lewis Burdette, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
• Jerald Raymond Hine, evading arrest/detention with vehicle.
• Daniel Elliot Howard, unauthorized use of a vehicle.
• Lee Bailey Partin, injury of a child/elderly/disable with intent bodily injury and prohibited weapon.
• Osmany Luis Duarte, possession of a controlled substance.
• Carlos Reyes, theft of a firearm.
• Douglas Raynard White, credit card or debit card abuse.
• Shalinthia Shanta Grant, theft of property.
• Jeremy Odaniel Fuller, credit card or debit card abuse.
• Kimberly English-Caldera, theft of property.
• Bobby Don Lathon, theft of property.
• Amanda Richelle Gilbert, theft of property.
• William Nathan Cox, burglary of a habitation.
• Shiela Leong, forgery financial instrument.
• Richard Ashley Ramey, burglary of a building.
• James Daniel Park III, theft of a firearm and theft of property.
• Erick Tramaine Hatchett, possession of a controlled substance.
• Tyrone Leigh, burglary of a habitation, unlawful possession of a firearm by felon and obstruction or retaliation.
• Benjamin Jarome Smith, assault public servant and harassment of public servant.
• Tiffany Summers Spencer, aggravated assault date/family/house with weapon.
• Darius DeQuan O’Bryant, aggravated sexual assault of child.
• Jackie Rena Carroll, aggravated assault with deadly weapon.
• Michael A. Bearden, credit card or debit card abuse.
• Angela Ginneal Watkins, robbery.
• Anthony Steven Jaramillo, aggravated robbery.
• Taylor Alexandria Decker, aggravated robbery.
• Johnathan Ethan Wayne Gonzales, unlawful possession of a firearm by felon and sex offenders duty to register with previous conviction.
• Dexter D. McGuire, theft of property.