Kilgore police have leveled a murder solicitation charge against a man who previously was convicted of evidence tampering in the 2016 kidnapping and death of a pregnant Kilgore woman.
Allen Lamont Sutton Jr., 29, of Overton was being held Thursday in the Rusk County Jail on $750,000 bond attached to a charge of solicitation to commit capital murder, online records show.
A jury previously handed Sutton a 10-year sentence, the maximum, on a charge of tampering with physical evidence in relation to the Fall 2016 killing, Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson wrote in a public statement last week.
Sheryia Grant, 20, was reported missing from Kilgore on Aug. 20, 2016. She was eight months pregnant at the time, and authorities say she was murdered soon after she disappeared.
Speaking Tuesday, the lead detective in the case said the abduction had covered multiple counties, culminating in Grant’s death.
“Obviously, we think she was taken from her home in Gregg County,” Kilgore Police Sgt. Trae Portwood said Tuesday. “And they covered lots of areas. And it eventually led to her being killed.”
On Thursday, 4th District Judge Clay Gossett issued a gag order in the case. A hearing was held May 16 in connection with a tampering with physical evidence charge against Sutton’s co-defendant, Laneshia Lashae Young, 24, also of Overton – online records indicate the charge was added in September 2017.
A juvenile was also arrested with Sutton and Young, also on charges of tampering with or fabricating evidence (human corpse) and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
Speaking two days before the gag order, Portwood said the probe has drawn in sheriff’s investigators from Rusk, Gregg and Smith counties, law enforcement agencies in Louisiana and Oklahoma, and the criminal division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Kilgore PD is the lead agency in the investigation.
“We’ve had people work with us on this case lots of different places,” Portwood said. “It’s a crime that occurred over multiple counties. We (recently) had yet another county that we’re going to talk to. That’s really why we brought in the attorney general, as investigative partners and prosecution partners.”
Portwood, who leads Kilgore Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, said no additional charges were contemplated as of Tuesday. Rusk County online records Thursday afternoon showed Young was still in the Rusk County Jail on $1 million bond attached to the two tampering charges in the murder of Grant.
“This was a rough one,” the detective said, “because she was eight and a half months pregnant.”