2 arrested for Tarkington murder

Two suspects are in custody, charged with Capital Murder, for the shooting death of Robert Strong, 66, of Tarkington. Sometime around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Strong was shot to death in his home on Pine Court off of CR 2282.

It took investigators with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers just 12 hours to investigate the case, develop leads and arrest the two suspects who provided investigators with sworn confessions, authorities say. The two charged are Craig Russell Bryant, 46, of Tarkington, and Randal Scott Dowden, 53, of New Caney.

The motive for the shooting was a threat that Strong reportedly made against one of the men’s family members, said LCSO Investigator Mark Ellington. The suspects reportedly took the law into their own hands and killed Strong before he could carry out his alleged threat.

Initially, Strong’s death was reported to the sheriff’s office as a possible suicide. A neighbor, who heard the early morning gunshot coming from Strong’s home, came to the house later that morning to check on his welfare and found Strong’s body inside a shed that was converted into a living space for him. When deputies arrived, they discovered there was no firearm near Strong’s body and there were signs of forced entry into the home, so investigators were called to take over the case.

The team effort investigation was conducted by Investigator James McQueen, Ellington and Capt. Billy Knox with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers Brandon Bess and Ryan Clendennen.

Bryant was arrested at his home on the 200 block of CR 2292 in Tarkington and Dowden was arrested at his home in the Casey Ridge area on FM 1485 in New Caney.

Both suspects are being booked into the Liberty County Jail. At this time, mugshots are not available. The photos will be added to this article as soon as they are available.

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  1. I grew up here and it Tears me up at times at how bad this place has gotten. Liberty county Need to Up there Squads! Especially CPD and the Prosecutors , etc within the Liberty County Judicial System! A Lot of these senseless acts of murder and crime could be prevented if they took calls and reports a little more serious and quit giving these Criminals a Whopper from Burger King and turning them back out on the streets.. My God this sad ! A man had a gun in my face, hit me with it . I called the CPD and they let him go !! The situation could very well escalated. However I just left the whole town . Who wants to live in a place where the Police just do not care and are crooked.. They cover and hide so many things behind a “so called law ” But Ray Charles can see through there BS . Just saying Good Luck living there . And God Bless this family .

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