A Brownwood man was charged with murder in the shooting death of his brother early Friday morning after claiming the two were the victims of a home invasion, police said.
Police alleged in a complaint that Randall Philen, 50, shot Ronald Philen, 49, in the chest inside the home the two shared at 1606 Ninth St. and then staged a crime scene to try to make it look like a home invasion. Police responded to the home at 4:35 a.m. after Randall Philen called the police and reported a home invasion.
Police did not know the motive for the shooting as of Friday afternoon, but family members told police the brothers had a history of violence toward each other, a complaint by detective Robert Mullins in Justice of the Peace Walter B. Croft’s court states.
Police served Philen with a murder warrant around 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Brown County Jail, where Philen was being held on an unrelated drug charge.
Ronald Philen was found dead on a bedroom floor, police said. A .22 caliber shell casing was found next to the bed, but no weapons were recovered, Mullins’ complaint states.
The small, white wood frame home where the brothers lived is a few houses south of the intersection of Ninth and Coggin Avenue, and is in a neighborhood that is not known for trouble, police said.
Outside the home at mid-morning Friday, Mullins loaded items into the trunk of a police car and Mullins and other detectives took down yellow police tape that had been wrapped around the property. Mullins referred questions to criminal investigation supervisor Sgt. Troy Carroll.
Carroll spoke with reporters at the Law Enforcement Center early Friday afternoon, releasing few details because the investigation was ongoing. Carroll did say that Randall Philen had come voluntarily to the Law Enforcement Center, where he was jailed on a charge of possession of marijuana.
Randall Philen reported “there had been a home invasion and that he had been tied up and his brother had been killed,” Carroll said.
Later Friday afternoon, more details emerged after Croft signed a murder warrant and Mullins filed a complaint.
According to the complaint:
Randall Philen was at the home when police arrived and told police he was asleep in his room when he was awakened by a loud crash. He said he ran into the kitchen, where he was held at gunpoint by several masked men who forced him to the floor. He told police he heard four or five gunshots and one of the assailants struck him with a pump shotgun. He told police he could hear his brother being beaten after he was shot.
Evidence indicated that Ronald Philen had been dead longer than his brother claimed, the complaint states. The door to Ronald Philen’s bedroom had a large plane busted out, with splinters from the wood on the floor. Investigators determined that the splinters were on top of pools of blood that were also on the floor, leading investigators to believe the door was busted after Ronald Philen was shot, the complaint states.
Family members told police Randall Philen was seen in possession of two handguns around Thanksgiving.
Ronald Philen’s body was sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, police said.