New Caney man sentenced to prison for murder in Tarkington

Dowden, Randal Scott

A Liberty County jury on Dec. 13 sentenced Randal Scott Dowden, 54, to a 20-year prison sentence after finding him guilty of the murder of Robert Strong on Sept. 16, 2020. The Honorable Judge Mark Morefield, 75th Judicial District Court, presided over the trial.

Prosecutors Kevin Barnes and Kayla Herrington presented the testimony of seven witnesses, who recounted the events leading up to the murder, the investigation, and their knowledge of Dowden and the victim.

The shooting death of Robert Strong, 66, of Tarkington, took place at Strong’s home on Pine Court off of CR 2282. The motive for the shooting was a threat that Strong reportedly made against one of the men’s family members, authorities said after the shooting.

Due to the upcoming trial on Dowden’s co-defendant, scheduled for trial in 2022, many details have been intentionally omitted so as not to influence any potential jurors in that trial.

“I really appreciate the time and effort the jurors put into this case. It is always difficult to see and hear some of the evidence in a case like this, but without these jurors performing their duty, our system of justice could not operate,” said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Barnes.

“Randal Dowden is rightfully headed to prison. We are grateful for everyone who did what they could to reach a just outcome in this case, including the law enforcement officers and the jurors who rendered this verdict,” added District Attorney Jennifer L. Bergman.

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