Crime

Affidavit reveals why police charged 3 men in connection to case involving drug deal killing

EL PASO, Texas - El Paso Police arrested three men in connection to the case involving the murder of Robert Noble, a Northeast El Paso man shot outside his home during an alleged drug deal. 

The suspects, all facing lesser charges, were arrested the morning of April 25, 2019 without incident at their home, police said. 

Payton Jennings Benzen, 22, is charged with Failure to Report a Felony and Tampering with Evidence. He was jailed on a $20,000 bond.

Jeremy Spencer Jachelski, 20, was charged with Tampering with Evidence. His bond was set at $15,000.

William Smith, 30, was charged with Filing a False Police Report and Tampering with Evidence. He was jailed on a $20,000 bond. 

Police said Jennings Benzen, Spencer Jachelski and Smith all live on the 12300 block of Tierra Arena. 

Police charged 17-year-old Neko Rutledge with Murder in connection to the case. A criminal complaint filed for Rutledge states Rutledge shot and killed the 57-year-old Noble during a drug deal outside Noble's Northeast El Paso home on the 5700 Block of Raymond Telles Drive on April 9, 2019.  

When investigators interviewed Noble's girlfriend, the woman told them she was at Noble's home with a group of friends at the time of the shooting. Noble's girlfriend told investigators Noble went outside his home and she heard a loud banging noise.  The woman ran outside and found Noble lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. Paramedics rushed Noble to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Investigators then spoke with another witness at the home. That witness, a criminal complaint states, told investigators "she had been asked to purchase some illegal narcotics, specifically ecstasy," for Noble's girlfriend. The witness allegedly contacted Rutledge and asked Rutledge to meet with Noble. 

The witness told police Rutledge arrived at Noble's home and the group inside the home saw both men speaking outside.  The criminal complaint states the witness allegedly told police "she overheard (Rutledge) making another narcotics deal with (Noble) for more ecstacy pills when, without provocation, (Rutledge) shot (Noble)."

The witness immediately called 911 to report the shooting and, when asked to identify the shooter, the witness allegedly told the operator it was "Neko" who shot Noble, the criminal complaint states.

Police arrested Rutledge on the 12300 block of Tierra Arena in Far East El Paso shortly after 10 P.M. on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Rutledge was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $1-million bond.

A criminal complaint obtained by ABC-7 states Jennings Benzen was the driver of the vehicle Rutledge was riding in when he arrived at Noble's home. After Rutledge allegedly shot and killed Noble, he re-entered the vehicle and Jennings Benzen drove away to the home on the 12300 block of Tierra Arena, the criminal complaint states. A witness inside the vehicle told police Rutledge joked about shooting and killing Noble as the suspects drove away from the scene of the killing.

The witness told police that when they arrived at the home on the 12300 block of Tierra Arena, Jennings Benzen, Spencer Jachelski, Smith and Rutledge  discussed covering up for the killing and how to dispose of the weapon allegedly used by Rutledge to shoot and kill Noble.  The witness told police the suspects wrapped the murder weapon with a towel, but did not see where the weapon was discarded.

A criminal complaint further states that about eight hours after Noble was shot and killed, Smith filed a police report stating he had lost a firearm. Smith allegedly said he lost the firearm while vacating old property and placing belongings in storage sometime between April 1st and April 7, 2019. The criminal complaint does not state whether police believe the firearm reported stolen by Smith  is the same firearm Rutledge allegedly used to kill Noble. 
 


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