HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police released a mugshot of the suspect wanted in the murder of a homeless man earlier this month in downtown Houston.
Richard Denton Needham, 39, has been charged with murder but is not yet in custody, so police have released a May 2023 photo in hopes that someone would find him.
Needham is accused of beating a man to death on June 3 and leaving him behind on a sidewalk in the 400 block of Franklin near Bagby Street. Investigators believe the victim was homeless, a population advocates say is more vulnerable to violent crime.
The medical examiner's office has not determined the 66-year-old victim's identity. The man's cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma to the head.
The beating was caught on surveillance video from 713 Music Hall, court documents say. A man, later identified as Needham, is allegedly seen on the video walking away after beating the victim and later returning near the body.
Records say that in one of the videos, Needham is seen "holding a large pipe or pole in his left hand... the object extends past his leg."
According to ABC13's Neighborhood Safety Tracker, homicides are up near the downtown Theater District. The four-year annual average from 2019 to 2023 is three. In the past 12 months, the area saw eight homicides.
If you have any information about the homicide, authorities urge you to contact HPD's Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitting an online tip, or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.