Three Charged with the Murder of Leah Martin - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Three Charged with the Murder of Leah Martin

A third arrest has been made in connection to the murder of Leah Martin.

Graham Police sent out a press release on Tuesday, September 22nd 2015.  The press release is below:

Graham Police and Texas Rangers conducted a third search of Blair's Auto Repair and are formally charging three individuals in the murder of Leah Martin.

On September 8th, 2015 investigators interviewed Billy Minkley Jr., and during that interview, he implicated himself and others in the murder of Leah Martin, and also confessed to participation in a homicide that occurred in Fort Worth in 2014. That case is still being pursued by the Fort Worth Police Department.

Because of the facts that came to light during the interview of Minkley a search of the premises where Leah Martin worked was conducted to search for evidence that was unknown to investigators at the time of the previous search warrant.

Suspects being charged with Capital Murder in the death of Leah Donnice Martin are identified as:

1) Billy Ray Minkley Jr. 42 years old of Graham;

2) Ross Earl Hellams, 42, of Graham, and

3) Elton Carroll Blair, 43, of Graham.

Blair and Hellams will also be charged with Tampering with Evidence to wit: a human corpse.

The Investigation in the disappearance of Leah Martin began on May 29, 2015 and investigators have worked diligently to investigate, identify, and arrest those responsible for taking her life. On August 5th, 2015 investigators discovered the body of Leah Martin buried on property under the control of Ross Hellams.

Further Investigation implicated Minkley who later confessed to being part of the crime.

"I am very pleased with the outstanding work by all the investigators from both agencies. The case was investigated in a thorough professional manner." Chief of Police Tony Widner stated.

Even with the arrests of these three individuals, Police advise the investigation is still ongoing.

Leah Martin Investigation Timeline: 

May 30, 2015: Leah Martin goes missing. She was last seen at E.C.'s Auto Repair in Graham. 

August 5, 2015: Martin's remains found on a property, 5656 FM 209, outside of Graham. The property belongs to Ross and Krista Hellams. 

August 19, 2015: Billy Ray Minkley Jr. is arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of prohibited weapon.

August 22, 2015: Ross Hellams, Sr. is arrested.

September 18, 2015: Leah Martin’s autopsy is released.

September 22, 2015: E.C. Blair arrested (owner of E.C.’s Auto Repair).

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