Cold case arrest: Shepherd man charged with 2019 murder of Polunsky corrections officer

Clary, Robert Dale

Robert Dale Clary, 65, of Shepherd, was arrested on Oct. 31, 2022, for the murder of Rhonda Richardson of Shepherd, Texas. Richardson was a corrections officer with the Polunsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She was survived by her three children and five grandchildren.

Investigators found Richardson’s body in the Sam Houston National Forest near FM 2666 after being alerted by a 911 call by a neighbor on May 22, 2019. After an autopsy was conducted by the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Beaumont, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office deputies began an investigation as a homicide.

The Sheriff’s Office combined forces with investigators and analysts from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the US Forest Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Although the initial investigation made substantial progress, the case remained an open investigation.

Rhonda Richardson

Advances in electronic forensics allowed for more evidence to be gleaned by investigators in October 2022. Detectives Gary Sharpen and Omar Sheik with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office consulted with experts in the field of digital forensics and pathology, re-interviewed witnesses and reviewed past evidence before submitting an arrest warrant for Robert Clary to the Honorable Judge John Wells of the 411th District Court.

San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney Todd Dillon would like to commend the dedication of Detective Gary Sharpen, Detective Omar Sheik and Sheriff Greg Capers in bringing justice to the Richardson family.

“Rhonda’s children and grandchildren have waited over three years for justice. Our office looks forward to Mr. Clary having his day in court,” said Dillon.


  1. Cannot believe it and then release me you would get drunk though and beat my mom real bad I wanted to kill him when I was a little kid

  2. Bubba its just a very sad situation my heart bleeds for the family. Its a horrible thing he did. We knew he had it in him bubba look at what he used to do to our momma. Im so sorry to the family we used to call him dad.

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