Brewery owner arrested for murdering client, making it look like a suicide, then draining bank account

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CARROLTON, TX – A man who was a financial advisor, licensed nurse and brewery owner was recently arrested for the murder of one of his clients and friends.  The suspect, Keith Todd Ashley, had allegedly murdered the victim and attempted to stage it to look like a suicide.

Ashley, the owner of Nine Band Brewing Co. in Allen, Texas, was arrested on November 13th for the murder of James “Jim” Seegan and wire fraud. 

Seegan was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head by his wife on February 19th in his home on Cannes Drive.  Next to his body, police found a typed note that said that the death was a suicide.  The last line of the note said:

“My last friend Keith Ashley will help you.”

Police apparently had suspicion from the beginning that the death was not a suicide.  According to the police report, the gun that was used to kill him was found in his left hand.  The problem with that is that Seegan was right-handed, according to his wife. 

If Seegan truly killed himself, he most likely would have used his dominant hand, not his left.  His wife also stated that Seegan did not own any firearms.

Detectives with the Carrolton Police Department reviewed video surveillance around the residence and noted that Ashley was the last person that was with Seegan.  Ashley left the residence and returned an hour later, letting himself in which raised suspicion. 

Upon the autopsy, the medical examiner found a general anesthetic, Etomidate, in his system according to police.  Seegan had not been seen by a doctor recently and was not a drug user according to his wife.  Ashley could have obtained the drug from the hospital he formerly worked for, City Hospital, and may have somehow caused Seegan to ingest it.

Police say that Seegan’s wife asked Ashley to contact Seegan’s financial institutions to notify them of his passing.  While Ashley had custody of the phone, Seegan’s wife alleges that she saw him deleting text messages between he and Seegan.  When the wife asked Ashley what he was doing he claimed that he deleted the text messages accidently.

Detectives later discovered that when Ashley had custody of the phone that he had wired himself $20,000 from Seegan’s bank account to his own.  Police allege this was done without the knowledge or consent of Seegan’s wife according to his arrest warrant.

During the death investigation, authorities also allegedly uncovered evidence of a “Ponzi-type scheme” which also involved several other victims.  For those that are not aware, a Ponzi scheme, according to the FBI:

“Ponzi schemes promise high financial returns of dividends not available through traditional investments.  Instead of investing funds of victims, however, the con artist pays “dividends” to initial investors using the funds of subsequent investors.

“The scheme generally falls apart when the operator flees with all of the proceeds or when a sufficient number of new investors cannot be found to allow the continued payment of “dividends.”

Police believe that Ashley has been operating a Ponzi-type scheme and in doing so he allegedly has cheated victims out of more than $1.1 million.  Those funds, allegedly, were funneled into Ashley’s financial services company, North Texas Money Management.

 

Once the money was into his company, Ashley allegedly used those funds to support his brewery, make mortgage payments, casino spending and paying his student loans instead of investing the money as he was claiming to do.  Police are asking anyone who is a victim of the Ponzi scheme to contact them at 972 466-9133 or to email [email protected]

Ashley was arrested by federal authorities near his home in Allen on November 13th for wire fraud charges.  He is also being charged with the murder of his friend, Seegan. 

Ashley was federally indicted on the six counts of wire fraud and he plead not guilty of the crimes at his initial court appearance on November 17th

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Hate crime? Former city commissioner and husband brutally murdered – here’s who police say did it.

LAKELAND, FLORIDA – Police officials in Lakeland have made an arrest in the brutal killings of a former Lakeland city commissioner and her husband.

Police identified the victims as Edith (Edie) Henderson, 67, and her husband David, 63. The identities of the couple were confirmed by police last Wednesday after responding to the home to find the gruesome discovery on Tuesday.

Edith Henderson is known locally as Edie Yates.

It is with great sadness that we inform you that former Lakeland City Commissioner Edie Yates Henderson and her husband,…

Posted by City of Lakeland, FL – Government on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The couple’s bodies were found inside their home, according to The Lakeland Ledger when officers were dispatched to the home for a welfare check requested by the couple’s son.

The Orlando Sentinel said that Edie Yates had served as a Lakeland City Commissioner from 2006 to 2018.

A neighbor told the Ledger that at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, they saw a man waving a Lakeland police patrol vehicle into the courtyard of the home on the south side of a lake. Less than an hour later, several police vehicles had arrived at the scene, and crime scene tape was draped around the area.

On Tuesday night, Lakeland PD spokeswoman Robin Tillett told reporters that police were looking for a suspect or multiple suspects, and that police were canvassing the vicinity looking for witnesses. At the time, police said that they did “not believe that there is an imminent danger to the local neighborhood,” Tillett said.

Police described the incident as follows. On Tuesday morning, David Henderson went on his daily walk around the lake adjacent to their home and stopped momentarily to speak with one of the neighborhood residents. He then drove to a deli to pick up breakfast for himself and his wife. He had apparently left the side door of their home unlocked when he left to make the 20-minute round trip.

Brewery owner arrested for murdering client, making it look like a suicide, then draining bank account
David and Edith Yates Henderson – screenshot courtesy of ABC News on YouTube

After returning home, police theorized, he set the kitchen table for breakfast and then, at some point, went upstairs to the master bedroom where he evidently found his wife, who had been tied up and stabbed multiple times. Police believe the murderer was waiting for him.

Police said that after nearly 36 hours of investigative and forensic work, they arrested Marcelle Jerrill Waldon, 36, of Lakeland for the murder of the Henderson’s in what was described as a “normally quiet and historic Lake Morton neighborhood.

In announcing the arrest, Lakeland Assistant Police Chief Sam Taylor said:

“As far as we know, we have not been able to locate any relation between him and the victims. There may, in fact, be some relationship that we’re able to determine down the road, but we do not, at this point in the investigation, have any reason to believe that he knew either one of the victims at all.”

 

Taylor said police believe Waldon entered the home through the unlocked door. He said evidence showed he forced Edie Yates to sign two Chase Bank checks for $5,000 each, both made out to Waldon.

He then apparently tied her up on the bed and stabbed her to death. David Henderson, who was also stabbed multiple times, was found lying near a closet.

Police believe Waldon then looked throughout the home for valuables and allegedly took numerous pieces of jewelry, a brown jewelry box, and one of David Henderson’s credit cards, along with the two personal checks.

Waldon also apparently tried to destroy crime scene evidence. Prior to leaving the residence, he turned on all the gas burners on the stove and the gas oven in an apparent attempt to blow up the house.

Waldon stole a white Audi A6 belonging to the couple and attempted to cash one of the checks, providing the employee with his Florida identification card and signing his name on the back of the check, as well as providing his thumbprint on the front of the check. 

The employee at the Amscot, where he tried to cash the check, attempted to reach out to the Henderson’s to check the validity of the check, however, she could not reach them. She scanned the check into Amscot’s system and gave it back to Waldon uncashed police said.

Lakeland detectives were able to compare the signatures on the check and confirmed their similarity to the signatures on Edie Yates’ driver’s license, and Waldon’s identification card.

Police said that at some point, Waldon checked into a motel and spoke to someone he had recently befriended and asked him to meet at the hotel.

That so-called friend later called the police and told investigators he had seen jewelry in a clear bag, a jewelry box, and David Henderson’s credit card. Waldon also showed him the two checks and told him that “the items were the result of a ‘lick’ he had done earlier.”

“lick” is a street term for burglary.

During the day on Tuesday, Yates’ son Todd tried calling and texting his mother. Unable to do so, he went to his mother and stepfather’s home to check on them. Upon entering, he saw the house in disarray and noticed the gas burners turned on. He contacted the police.

When officers arrived at the home, they conducted a search of the home. They found what Deputy Chief Taylor called one of the most horrific crime scenes he had witnessed in a 32-year career.

 

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