Two men accused of fatally shooting a Garland recording studio owner and his best friend bragged about robbing them, and an aunt overheard and called police, authorities say. Demarius Cummings and James Broadnax, both 19 and of Dallas, are being held at the Garland Jail in lieu of $1 million bail. Both are charged with capital murder.
Matthew Butler, 28, owner of Zion Gate Records, and Stephen Swan, 26, his sound engineer, were killed early Thursday outside the studio in the 800 block of State Street as they were about to drive away in Mr. Swan's tan 1995 Crown Victoria.
They had been shot multiple times.
"Our detectives believe robbery was the motive – to rob them and steal the car," said Garland police spokesman Joe Harn. "We didn't see any attempt to get in the building."
Court records said one victim's pockets were turned inside out as if they had been emptied. Also missing was Mr. Swan's car.
The aunt wrote down the license plate number and collected items, including Mr. Swan's driver's license, that were thrown from the car as the teens drove away.
She contacted Garland police after seeing news of the double homicide about 5 p.m.
Three men were in Mr. Swan's vehicle three hours later in Texarkana, Texas, where police pulled them over during a routine traffic stop. Each was arrested on outstanding warrants. The car was later connected to the double homicide. The three men were charged with capital murder, but one was cleared and released Friday afternoon. "He was in the car last night, but we don't think he had anything to do with the theft of the car or the murders," Officer Harn said.
Mr. Swan worked full time as senior security administrator at Ellipse Communications Inc. in Addison but helped Mr. Butler as studio engineer. The two men had been friends for eight years, said Jamie Butler, Mr. Butler's wife. Mr. Butler had a son, Matthew Jr., 2, and a daughter, McKayla, 1. Mr. Swan was single and did not have children.
A joint memorial service for Mr. Butler and Mr. Swan will be at 1 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church Dallas.
A jam session in their honor will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at Zion Gate Studio.