Two suspects in jail for capital murder in Nederland homicide

Michael Odell Legg

Two Beaumont residents have been charged with the May 9 murder of Michael Odell Legg at 8136 Beauxart Garden Road in Nederland, Nederland police announced May 24.

The Nederland Police Department (NPD), with assistance from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and the Beaumont Police Department, have filed Capital Murder charges on 24-year-old Ashlie Cherie Martinez and 23-year-old Duane Lamonte Owens Jr. for the murder of Michael Odell Legg. Both Martinez and Owens are residents of Beaumont. 

According to NPD Assistant Chief Gary Porter, officers responded to a call in reference to two suspicious subjects seen passing by a security camera at a residence in the 8000 block of Beauxart Garden Road at about 1:30 a.m. The home’s Ring alarm system activated as the subjects passed the front door of the house, turning on the security camera and capturing two separate, slightly obscured figures creeping stealthily across the porch. The homeowner, who was out of town at the time, received an alert from Ring and called police.

Officers investigating the call found a neighboring residence with the front and back doors open. Upon further examination of that house, officers found the resident, Legg, deceased on the floor of the living room. Porter said there were no signs of forced entry into the residence.

Following the discovery of the deceased, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office I.D. Unit and the Jefferson County Regional Crime Lab processed the scene to retrieve any potential clues, including possible DNA. Justice of the Peace Tom Gilliam was called to the scene and ordered an autopsy.  

Though police reported there were no visible gunshot or stab wounds, they immediately suspected homicide due to the circumstances. According to Porter, a preliminary autopsy report confirmed that suspicion, suggesting Legg’s death was the result of an assault with possible trauma to the neck area.

Capital Murder warrants for Martinez and Owens were obtained from Justice of the Peace Ken Dollinger on May 24 at abnout 4 p.m. Judge Dollinger denied bond for both subjects.

Both Martinez and Owens were in the Jefferson County jail for unrelated charges at the time of this report, according to Assistant Chief Porter. 

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Original story by Sharon Brooks:

Detectives with the Nederland Police Department (NPD) are searching for answers and suspects in the homicide of 40-year-old Michael Odell Legg, found murdered in his home in the 8100 block of Beauxart Garden Road on May 9.

According to NPD Assistant Chief Gary Porter, officers responded to a call in reference to two suspicious subjects seen passing by a security camera at a residence in the 8000 block of Beauxart Garden Road at about 1:30 a.m. The home’s Ring alarm system activated as the subjects passed the front door of the house, turning on the security camera and capturing two separate, slightly obscured figures creeping stealthily across the porch. The homeowner who was out of town at the time, received an alert from Ring and called police.

Officers investigating the call found a neighboring residence with the front and back doors open. Upon further examination of that house, officers found the resident, Legg, deceased on the floor of the living room. Porter said there were no signs of forced entry into the residence.

Following the discovery of the deceased, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office I.D. Unit and the Jefferson County Regional Crime Lab processed the scene to retrieve any potential clues, including possible DNA. Justice of the Peace Tom Gilliam was called to the scene and ordered an autopsy.  

Though police report there were no visible gunshot or stab wounds, they immediately suspected homicide due to the circumstances. According to Porter, a preliminary autopsy report confirmed that suspicion, suggesting Legg’s death was the result of an assault with possible trauma to the neck area.

“We will check any and all leads,” Porter promised. “I feel confident we’ll catch the folks involved.”

Because of the close proximity in time of the Ring alarm alerting and Legg’s murder, Porter said odds are that the two subjects caught on tape had something to do with the homicide. He asks that anyone with information about the identity of the subjects in the video or with information about the case call the Nederland Police Department at (409) 722-4965.

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