A former Briar resident who was the victim of a home invasion robbery last summer died Sunday from injuries he suffered during that brutal attack.
The death of Marvin Zimmerman, 82, has been ruled a homicide by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office.
Zimmerman lived in the 1400 block of New Hope Road in far southern Wise County. On June 8 of last year, officers found him bound and gagged, lying on the floor of his home. Investigators said Zimmerman had been tied up for several days before he was discovered.
Police arrested five people in connection with the robbery. One of the suspects told investigators they thought an elderly man living alone in the country “would be an easy hit.”
Investigators say the suspects invaded Zimmerman’s home and bound him to a chair, then proceeded to shock him several times with a stun gun and kick and punch him while demanding he tell them where valuables were hidden. They ransacked the home and left Zimmerman handcuffed to the chair, with his head duct-taped.
He remained in that condition for at least 48 hours before a concerned neighbor came to check on him, looked through the window and discovered him lying on the living room floor.
Zimmerman never recovered from his injuries. He died at 9:25 p.m. Sunday at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Bedford, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s website. The ME’s office listed the cause of death as “complications of subdural hematoma, dehydration and renal failure due to being assaulted, bound and abandoned in residence.”
Three of those arrested have been prosecuted for aggravated robbery after pleading guilty.
Jimmy Ray Murrell, 50, and Roger Lee Hammons, 49, both of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty last month in Decatur’s 271st District Court. Murrell received a 50-year prison sentence, and Hammons received 40 years in prison. Due to the seriousness of the charges, they’ll have to serve half their sentences before becoming eligible for parole.
Michael Anthony Cordova, 33, of Fort Worth, also pleaded guilty and received a 10-year sentence. Prosecutors have said Cordova did not take part in the actual robbery or beating and torture, but he assisted in the crime in other ways.
Sheri Lynn White, 48, of Fort Worth was also arrested and indicted for aggravated robbery, but prosecutors dropped that charge when she pleaded guilty to theft of a firearm and was sentenced to seven months in state jail. The firearm was stolen from Zimmerman Oct. 15, 2011.
District Attorney Greg Lowery said his office is aware of Zimmerman’s death and they are considering their options – which includes the possibility of pursuing a murder charge.