Rye man charged with murder, abuse of corpse

Crime scene tape blocks off the area where the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Liberty County District Attorney Jennifer Bergman and the Texas Rangers are investigating a murder on Sunday.

Authorities have arrested a suspect in the murder and possible dragging death of a man in the Big Thicket Lake Estates in north Liberty County. The murder, which reportedly took place late Saturday night, sent shockwaves through Liberty County due to the graphic nature of the crime.

According to Capt. Ken DeFoor, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect, Robert Eugene Hoffpauir, 36, of Rye, became embroiled in an argument between his mother, Timey Ann Cole, and her boyfriend, Roman Rodriguez, 60, both of Rye.

“There are a couple of versions of what happened and the case is still under investigation. According to the defendant and his mother, Mr. Rodriguez came over and was causing a domestic disturbance. The defendant assaulted the victim and later secured him to the back of his own pickup truck, dragging his body for about a mile,” DeFoor said.

Hoffpauir, Robert Eugene

DeFoor said it is unknown if Rodriguez was deceased from the alleged beating or died as a result of the dragging. He was secured to the truck using a tow strap that was fastened to his waist. A trail of blood was found leading from the home to where his body was found near his burned-out vehicle. An autopsy should help authorities determine the cause of death.

Rodriguez’s body was discovered when a 911 emergency call was made by a neighbor to report a fire. When firefighters arrived, they found the burned-out truck with Rodriguez’s body behind it. The body was badly damaged but not burned, authorities said.

Hoffpauir, Robert Eugene

Hoffpauir is in the Liberty County Jail at this time on two charges – Murder and Abuse of a Corpse. Bonds have been set at $1,010,000 for both charges.

Hoffpauir has previous arrests for Criminal Mischief, Public Intoxication, Burglary of a Habitation, Possession of Marijuana and traffic offenses.


  1. They should charge him with a hate crime, since he was Hispanic. Hoffpauir broke into his house and stole his guns. Roman contacted his mother Timey Ann Cole by cell, that he was going to call the cops or return the guns, she was begging him not too. Hoffpauir took matters into his own hands with a bat.

    • It sounds like Rodriguez went looking for trouble taking the law into his own hands instead of letting the cops do their job or was it do to Rodriguez hanging out with hoffpauirs 15 year old neither and her mom was arguing about hanging with some older the 15 year old was hanging with

  2. Roman had a broken leg and needed crutches just to be able to stand. He was defenseless. All he wanted was his stolen items. Cause he was such a good guy, trying to give him a chance and not call the police on his neighbor. He messed up by giving them a heads up. That is why the mom was blowing up his phone saying please don’t call the cops. No human deserves that kind of death. Anyone that thinks otherwise is sick and demented just like the individual that did this horrific unforgivable crime. But us Texans believe in God, Justice and we hate fake news. Had to set it straight.

  3. 💪.. note to self… Send this man a birthday and Christmas card.. ya just don’t mess with someones mama!😁

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