WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Following the arrest of three suspects charged with a murder over the weekend in Wichita Falls, their arrest affidavits reveal details of what police refer to as a “massive bloodletting event”.
William Bell, 28, of Wichita Falls, Ronnie Lang, 18, of Wichita Falls, and Payton Collier, 27, of Wichita Falls, were all arrested on murder charges stemming from Saturday’s incident.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022, police were called to the 2100 block of Brown Street for a welfare check.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Zachary Wood, 23, deceased, and said the nature in which his body was found led them to suspect foul play.
According to the affidavit, autopsy results would later reveal Wood’s manner of death as a homicide, and an investigation began.
Police on the scene said the house on Brown Street appeared to be “ransacked” and there was evidence of a “massive bloodletting event that occurred in multiple rooms”.
The affidavit said police spoke to the individual who found Wood deceased and learned he had been living at the house on Brown Street with two females named Mackenzie and another man named RJ.
According to police, they later learned through social media one of the females named Mackenzie who lived with Wood was actually Payton Mackenzie Collier.
Police said they brought Collier in for an interview due to her being a resident of the home. During that interview, Collier denied knowing what happened to Wood and said she wasn’t there.
Authorities said Collier told them she was with two individuals she knew as “Mexico” and “Ronnie” and gave police consent to search her phone.
During their investigation, police said they learned an individual had called 9-1-1 to report a fight on Avenue K and Brown Street, and that during the call, the reporting party said Collier gave him that information.
Police said they interviewed the reporting party, who said Collier reached out to him to help her or pick her up, and he didn’t want to get involved.
The cooperating witness gave police consent to search his phone.
According to the affidavit, the witness sent a text message to Collier on Friday, May 20, at 10:38 p.m. that said, “What’s going on?”
Police said Collier replied, “I’m beating the f*** outta him rn” and “he stole my f****** s***.”
The affidavit said Collier sent another text message at 10:50 p.m. that said, “Come and help me!! I’m beating the f*** outta him!!”
According to the affidavit, Collier then sent a picture to the witness of her hands covered in blood.
According to police, Collier gave a statement of her own free will confessing she was at the scene on Brown Street and that her boyfriend, Ronnie Lang, assaulted Wood with his hands, feet, and a baseball bat.
The affidavit said Collier told them Lang was assisted by William Bell, who was also beating Wood.
According to authorities, Collier told police during the course of the assault, the noticed Wood was no longer breathing and left the scene without making an attempt to help or seek help for Wood.
Police said Bell also gave them a statement confessing his involvement in the assault, though Bell stated he did not use a weapon like Lang did. Bell also stated Collier was assaulting Wood as well.
After Collier and Bell turned themselves in on Monday, May 23, police were able to locate and arrest Lang on a warrant for an assault that occurred Monday, May 16, at the same residence on Brown Street.
Police said when they arrested Lang, he had a gun on his person, and when they ran the serial numbers on the gun, a report from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office showed it as stolen.
According to the affidavit, Lang gave a statement to police and admitted he was responsible for Wood’s death, saying “things went too far.”
Police said Lang gave no other details or statements.