Family Reacts to New Developments in Murder Case - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Family Reacts to New Developments in Murder Case

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

In a press release the Graham Police Department said all three of the suspects have been charged with capital murder.  Those suspects are Elton Carrol Blair, Billy Minkley Jr., and Ross Earl Hellams.  Blair and Hellams are also charged with physical evidence of a human corpse.

On September, 22nd the Graham Police Department and the Texas Rangers conducted a search warrant at the EC’s Auto Shop.  Blair is the owner of the business, which is located along Highway 380. 

Crime tape could be seen surrounding the property while the search was being conducted.  The property had been searched previously, but after interviewing 42-year-old Billy Minkley Jr., they were given a reason to go back and search the shop.  During the search at EC’s Auto Shop, police found evidence that led to Blair’s arrest.

“We knew that this guy was involved,” Leah’s father, Billy Martin said, “We were just waiting on the evidence to come in to take him where he needs to be.”

He said he got a call from a detective informing him an arrest was made.  Billy Martin immediately got in his car and went to the shop to take a moment for himself.  He expressed that it was a joyous moment for him.

“I think it helped that we found out so quickly, you know, the people of Graham were wanting answers and we were wanting answers and we weren’t going to stop until we got them,” he said.

Still, there are questions he still wants answers to.  The main question is why, but for now he is just glad the three suspects are behind bars.

“I think we have the people that actually committed it, but there are people around trying to help cover it up,” Martin said.

He said in the end, the evidence will reveal the truth.

“I don’t wish ill will on anyone,” he said, “Regardless of what I do, they will be judged for what they’ve done.”

While crime tape could be seen around the property, so could purple ribbons and balloons.  Residents came by to put them up to show their respect for the young mother and the family.  Purple ribbons can also bee seen throughout the town.  The residents said they chose the color purple because it was Leah's favorite. 

“We came out here because justice was served this morning,” one resident said.

Martin expressed how grateful he is for the community of Graham during this difficult time.  He said without their efforts, it’s possible no one would be behind bars right now. 

“She’d be proud that we didn’t give up on her,” Martin said.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6

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