Beaumont man pleads guilty to murder

Kevin Moyer, Cody Lewis, Yiannis Mihail and Arthur Harmon

One of three suspects accused in the murder of 53-year-old Kevin Alton Moyer of Dallas pleaded guilty to the crime in Jefferson County on July 25 and is now awaiting sentencing.

On the morning of April 5, 2014, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) dispatch center received a medical call from South China Road, east of Highway 365. Emergency responders arrived at the location and discovered the body of 53-year-old Dallas resident Kevin Alton Moyer in the back of a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. He was naked, his body wrapped irreverently in a sheet. Investigators quickly determined that Moyer had been murdered, and the search for suspects ensued.

JCSO confirmed Moyer’s identity through dental records. 

His Facebook page indicated he was formerly the Southwest Regional Sales Manager at Royal Crown Derby USA in Dallas.

Soon after the investigation into the crime began, before Moyer had even been identified as the deceased, detectives had already established three suspects, JCSO Deputy Rod Carroll said then. Carroll reported April 7, 2014, that detectives identified and arrested then 21-year-old Arthur Christopher Harmon and then 31-year-old Yiannis Nikolaos Mihail, both of Beaumont, for murder. Bond was set at $1 million for each of the two. Detectives also identified a third suspect who initially eluded authorities, but not for long. Officers acting on a Crime Stopper’s tip arrested then 27-year-old Cody Jamar Lewis of Beaumont less than two weeks after Moyer’s body was found.

According to JCSO, fugitive task force members located Lewis in Pennington, Texas, about 157 miles northeast of Beaumont, just off U.S. 287 at about 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Even then, Lewis continued to try to escape capture, running into the woods from the residence to hide. After a short search, task force officers took Lewis into custody without further incident.

Deputies also pursued charges against several of Lewis’ family members and friends for harboring the fugitive and assisting Lewis while he was on the lam. Ultimately, JCSO deputies executed warrants against three of Lewis’ cousins, 27-year-old Hope Pennington and 31-year-old Cedric Edwards, both of Groveton, and 33-year-old Cedric Edwards of Crockett for hindering the apprehension of a fugitive.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service, Beaumont Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Office of the Inspector General, Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, Trinity County District Attorney’s Office, Groveton police and Nacogdoches police participated in the manhunt for Lewis.

Finally, on July 25, Lewis, now 29, was in court to speak to his actions. His trial was to commence, but before it could begin, Lewis changed his plea to guilty.

A sentencing date has not been set.