BULLARD HOMICIDE

Father, son arrested in murder of ‘close friend’

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The identity of the victim of an apparent homicide in Bullard last week has officially been released by law enforcement officials.

Two men were arrested and officially charged with capital murder charges and booked into the Smith County Jail in connection to a murder scene worked by law enforcement on Thursday, July 5.

According to Smith County jail records, Charles Edward Lennon Jr., of Tyler, and Charles Edward Lennon III, of Bullard, were booked into the Smith County Jail Friday, July 6, at approximately 4 a.m.

Jail records show Lennon Jr. has been charged with Capital Murder by Terror Threat and Tampering with Evidence. He is currently being held on bonds totaling $2 million.

Meanwhile, Lennon III was charged with Capital Murder by Terror Threat and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Penalty Group 1) weighing less than one gram. Records also detail Lennon III as being wanted on an outstanding warrant in Smith County for Burglary of a Habitation.

Lennon III is currently being held on bonds totaling $2.25 million, according to jail records.

Arrest warrants for both Lennon Jr. and Lennon III were signed by 241st District Court Judge Jack Skeen Jr.

Both men were arrested after Bullard Police Department officers answered a call at a mobile home residence in the 300 block of Timberline Dr., where the body of a deceased female was later found.

Bullard Police Department Captain Jeff Bragg said in a media release sent out Friday that Lennon III was taken into custody on the warrant for burglary by officers, but later was named a person of interest in the homicide investigation.

During a press conference at the scene Thursday, Bragg said a male suspect, later identified as Lennon III, as well as a female suspect, ran from the scene when officers arrived, and were pursued by officers and eventually captured and arrested in the 400 block of Brentwood Dr., a distance of 0.2 miles from the scene.

Additionally, three other male suspects were placed in cuffs by law enforcement at the Timberline Dr. scene Thursday. Bragg said the trio was being detained for questioning in connection to the investigation. According to the BPD media release, one of the three men questioned was Lennon Jr., who was later identified as a second person of interest and arrested.

The two other male suspects held by BPD for questioning in connection to the case were released from custody and cleared of the investigation, according to the media release.

Law enforcement officials, with the assistance of the Smith County Crime Scene Unit, searched both the Timberline Dr. and Brentwood Dr. locations after obtaining search warrants for both properties signed by 7th District Court Judge Kerry Russell.

During the course of the investigation, officers located the body of a female on the property, reportedly inside of a plastic poly-cart trash can hidden behind a pontoon boat in the front yard of the Timberline Dr. residence.

Multiple neighbors at the scene said the residence where the body was found may be known for drug activity.

On Monday, July 9, Bragg officially named the victim as Rachel Lynn Jackson, 31, of Tyler, in a telephone interview with Bullard Banner News. Jackson was described by Bragg as being a “close friend” to the suspects.

Smith County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace James Meredith pronounced Jackson dead at the scene. Her body was transported to the forensic lab in Tyler, according to Bragg.

Bragg said there was no indication how long the body had been where it was located, but neighbors reported a smell similar to that of a dead animal in the air around the area the night before.

Law enforcement officials said last week that Jackson’s official cause of death will not be released until more information is available from the forensic lab.

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