Texas Men Charged with Murder Outside Parole Office
HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has returned a seven-count indictment against two men allegedly responsible for the killing of a man as he sat in his car outside a Houston parole office, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Ronald Donell Brown aka Dorsey Robinson or Nook or Nookie, 44, and Clyde Williams aka Pete, 50, both of Houston, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder for hire, intentional killing related to drug trafficking and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a murder. David Roberts aka Cuz, 42, of Houston, is also named in the indictment and charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Brown is also charged in that count in addition to kidnapping and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that on July 1, 2014, Marcus Celestine had a pre-arranged meeting with his parole officer in Houston. Shortly thereafter, he was shot numerous times as he sat in the driver’s seat of his vehicle in the parking lot, according to the charges.
The murder for hire conspiracy allegedly began after the victim and another individual were believed to have stolen cocaine from a member of Brown’s drug organization. Roberts and others regularly transported large quantities of cocaine for Brown, driving from Houston to Atlanta on a weekly basis, according to the indictment. In April 2014, Roberts received two duffle bags filled with cocaine. Soon after, he was allegedly robbed.
Brown believed Celestine and another individual were responsible for the robbery and he assembled a plan to kill them, according to the indictment. On April 23, 2014, Brown and others allegedly kidnapped the other individual, zip-tied his arms and legs and put him in the trunk of a car. While being transported, the victim was able to break free, open the trunk and jump out of the vehicle. According to the indictment, a good Samaritan saw him, picked him up and attempted to drive him to safety. However, Brown allegedly pursued them and eventually shot at them repeatedly, ultimately striking the good Samaritan in the upper body and the victim in the head. Both men survived the attack.
The indictment further alleges that following this failed attempt, Brown turned his attention to Celestine. Brown allegedly hired Williams to kill Celestine and provided him a firearm. Brown was able discover that Celestine was to meet with his parole officer on July 1, 2014, and informed Williams, according to the charges. Following that meeting, Celestine returned to his vehicle in the parking lot, at which time Williams allegedly fired multiple shots, some at close range. Celestine died at the scene.
Brown and Williams could potentially face the death penalty. For his role in the drug conspiracy, Roberts faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
This case is an example of coordination between law enforcement who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative announced in June 2017 which combines personnel and resources from numerous federal, state and local agencies. The goal of the initiative is to proactively fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater Houston area by targeting the region’s most violent offenders, augmenting investigative and prosecutorial efforts, and enhancing training, public awareness and education.
The FBI, Houston Police Department’s Homicide and Major Offenders Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steve Mellin and Sebastian Edwards are prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorney Teresa Polinske of the Department of Justice’s Capital Case Section.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.