Man accused of assisting in suicide

April 16, 2008 4:11:37 AM PDT
Authorities call it one of the more bizarre cases they've seen. A Conroe man who goes by the name "Redneck" is accused of helping his friend commit suicide. He's now been charged with murder. The suspect is accused of helping the victim buy a rifle and even pulling the trigger.

It's not your typical police investigation. Conroe police are calling this one of the strangest cases they have ever worked.

Ronald 'Redneck' Newman, 22, remains behind bars. He was initially charged with aiding suicide. But a murder charge has since been added.

Conroe police say Newman made plans with his friend, James Sheets, 31, to help Sheets commit suicide in a homeless camp just beyond a wooded area east of Interstate 45.

Investigators say Newman purchased a rifle for Sheets with Sheets' money. They also purchased ammunition as well as a notepad and a pen to write a suicide note and a list of phone numbers of people Newman should call.

Newman even led authorities to the body, which was discovered in the wooded area.

"Things just weren't adding up. There was evidence at the scene that was inconsistent," said Sgt. Bob Berry with the Conroe Police Department. "And so we interviewed Mr. Newman and ultimately in the early morning hours of the 9th, he confessed to actually pulling the trigger."

Investigators say Newman broke down as he began to tell them what happened. They say he is extremely remorseful. This case is now being referred to a grand jury.

We worked on this story with the help of our Houston Community Newspaper partner, the Courier of Montgomery County.

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