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20-year-old convicted of providing weapon to convicted killers - The Eagle: News

20-year-old convicted of providing weapon to convicted killers

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Travis Alan Carroll

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:40 am, Fri Jul 12, 2013.

A 20-year-old Bryan man was convicted Thursday for his role in the murder of Billy Menard Jr., a 21-year-old who was killed in October 2011 over about $160 worth of marijuana.

Travis Alan Carroll was convicted of the first-degree felony by a Brazos County jury, which spent about two-and-a-half hours deliberating on day three of the murder trial.

Carroll was found guilty of supplying the shotgun used to kill Menard, who was shot in the head through the front door of his Bryan apartment in the early morning hours of Oct. 16, 2011.

According to testimony, a .22 revolver used in the incident also came from Carroll's house, and his purpose for accompanying the two men who shot at Menard was to provide directions to the apartment where the murder took place.

Carroll had been to the apartment with his girlfriend about five hours before to sell Menard about three-ounces of low-quality marijuana.

Menard said he was keeping the weed and not paying for it, at which point, Carroll testified, he dragged his girlfriend out of the apartment, fearing one of the two men at Menard's had a gun on him.

On the way home, Carroll called one of his co-defendants, Clayton Thompson, to help him retrieve the weed and later went back to Menard's apartment with Thompson and a third man, Christopher Hernandez.

Thompson, 25, was convicted in November of firing the shotgun round that caused Menard's death and is serving a 45-year sentence.

Hernandez, 22, was convicted of murder by a jury for using the .22 handgun to shoot at Menard's door and sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Carroll faces five to 99 years in prison, although the jury could choose to probate his sentence based on his lack of previous felony convictions.

The punishment phase of Carroll's trial began immediately following the verdict, at which point prosecutors Kara Comte and Danny Smith called on three witnesses, including Menard's mother.

Leticia Menard, of Brownsville, said she was at her other son's football game when she got a call that Billy Menard had been killed.

"Billy was my first child," she said with tears in her eyes. "I have a void in my life. I just feel like my life's not complete anymore."

She described her son as someone with a "good heart" who was always doing things for other people.

Leticia Menard acknowledged her son had faults but said "she was very hopeful he was getting himself together" and would become a successful adult.

On cross-examination, the victim's mother was asked about a 2007 felony drug conviction for which she's on probation until 2014. Leticia Menard told jurors she was ordered to prison rehabilitation and has been sober since. She's also earned her paralegal degree in the meantime, she testified.

In addition to the victim's mother, state attorneys also presented evidence that Carroll's murder bond was revoked in September 2012 when he tested positive for marijuana.

Defense attorney David Barron called on six family members or close friends of Carroll's to testify as character witnesses.

Carroll's grandmother, Della Carroll, cried throughout her testimony about the defendant, whom she said she has always been very close to.

She insisted her grandson was harmless and had gotten mixed in with the wrong people. Since going to jail, he had earned his GED and had "given his life to the Lord," she said.

Della Carroll pleaded with jurors to opt for probation instead of prison time.

"I don't want my grandson to go to prison and be raped or killed because he squealed on the other two," she said.

Travis Carroll, who testified that Thompson is a member of a white supremacist gang, has been getting death threats from "skinheads," Della Carroll said, although jurors were instructed to disregard the comment based on an objection from Smith.

The defendant's father, aunt, a family friend for whom Travis Carroll worked and two of his grandmother's close friends also took the stand in his defense.

Jeffery Duncan, a former corrections officer, said the defendant used to do labor work for him.

When asked about his reaction to the news that Travis Carroll had been charged with murder, Duncan said he thought the defendant's father was trying to pull a prank on him at first.

"I said, 'Yeah right, there ain't no way,'" Duncan said, adding shortly afterward, "it's not in him."

The trial will continue Friday morning in the 361st District Court.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Billy's Mom posted at 6:46 am on Fri, Jan 17, 2014.

    Billy's Mom Posts: 9

    "If you steal anything from anyone, I have no sympathy for you". How about if a member of your family was caught shopplifting, ran and was hit by a car while fleeing? or if the police try to stop them for evading arrest< not knowing if they might have a weapon and they are killed? Think before you speak, that was ignorant. I'm positive you would not feel the same way., if the shoe was on the other foot. this over $50, what kind of value do you place on a human life?

  • Billy's Mom posted at 5:26 am on Fri, Jan 17, 2014.

    Billy's Mom Posts: 9

    I am apalled that the main instigator, whose idea it was to call his thugs, provide the weapons from his house, and show these heartless, idiots exactly where Billy lived. His reason being that Travis was ripped off for $50 dollars. He acted like a coward and waited down stairs. While his friends went up and killed my son. Then proceded to roll over on his friends, each of which got 45 years and 37 years. Where Travis only received 12 years. Since he fully cooperated with the police and even denied knowing his life long friend Clayton. How about that...came up with
    the plan, provided the weapons, but waited down stairs to keep his hands clean and only received 12 years!! really. Why cuz he laughed and giggled about how much he loved his girlfriend? Whose fault it really is for presurring him to do something about it. Why wasn't she charged for being a drug dealer? she delivered the weed. Nagged and nagged until Travis gave in. Aiding and abetting if you think about it, conspiracy? Aren't people arrested for hiring hit men. Where is the justice. I hope he gets exactly what he deserves in prison. Pretty boy doesn't stand a chance. Thank you Lord

  • Big Kat posted at 8:12 pm on Sat, Jul 13, 2013.

    Big Kat Posts: 2

    Wow, agnerd so you condone murder. oh well that kind of thinking that seems to run ramped there in Bryan. Twelve years for killing somebody in Brazos county, pretty sad, Yet in another part of the state a man is given a life sentence for killing a tree.

  • agnerd posted at 10:40 am on Fri, Jul 12, 2013.

    agnerd Posts: 497

    If you steal from anyone, drug dealer or not, I don't have much sympathy for you. Hope this kid gets the minimum sentance.


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