Two men arrested for 2017 murder in Vernon


VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) The Vernon Police Department has made two additional arrests in connection to the 2017 murder of Jerry McBride.

Robert Owens Thomas III and Ronald Ray Fanner were arrested over the weekend for the murder of McBride who was killed in his business on May 20, 2017.

McBride died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Information gathered by officers showed that on the night of the crime, Thomas was seen driving in a “jacked up” green pickup with a circular decal on the back window.

This pickup had been borrowed from a third party who was not involved.

A witness reported to authorities that on the night of the crime, he saw Thomas in the pickup which was parked near the Cowboy Club, which was owned by McBride.

The witness noticed that Thomas was wearing a bandana across his face and asked him what he was doing.

Thomas allegedly motioned toward the club and said he was going to “hit a lick,” a reference to robbing someone.

Thomas allegedly telephoned a witness who was near the club just before the shooting and told him he needed to leave the areas.

This information was corroborated by cell phone records.

Thomas was also linked to the crime by recently discovered forensic evidence.

The shell casing collected at the Vernon crime scene, where McBride was killed, matched shell casing from a shooting in Wichita Falls that happened on July 10, 2016.

At that shooting, several different shell casing were collected and submitted to the DPS crime lab by the Wichita Falls Police Department.

The DPS firearms/toolmark examiner determined that the shell casing collected at the Wichita Falls and Vernon crime scenes were fired from the same gun.

Witnesses placed Thomas at the scene of the shooting in Wichita Falls.

According to authorities, Fanner served as the lookout during the crime.

Thomas and Fanner are both charged with murder. Both of their bonds have been set at $1 million, each.

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