Case closes for 2nd tried in Allen Plumbing killing

Jurors of the 15th State District Court heard closing arguments Friday morning in the state’s case against Tyrone Sommers during the Oct. 31, 2017 shooting of Robert Allen in Denison.

The jury began deliberating at 10:45 am

Sommers is the second person to be tried in the murder and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, criminal in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence.

In April, Timothy Barnum was convicted of murder in the case and sentenced to life in prison. This week, Grayson County First Assistant District Attorney Kerye Ashmore and Assistant DA Nathan Young presented witnesses proving that Sommers colluded with Barnum in Allen’s death.

The state claims that Barnum wanted Allen dead, but because of their history of family disagreements over the treatment of Allen’s daughter and the child she shared with Barnum, he knew he would be a suspect if Allen was killed. Prosecutors said Barnum had asked his father to kill Allen, and when that failed, he asked his great-nephew Sommers.

In his closing statement Friday, Ashmore reminded jurors that after Allen’s death, Sommers ended up with a car and house that once belonged to Barnum. Ashmore reminded them of phone records and testimony that he said showed Sommer was near Allen Plumbing in Denison the night Allen was murdered. Ashmore said that while Sommers initially denied knowing anything about the murder, he eventually admitted that he was with Barnum the night of the murder and that he had lost the weapon that police believe was used in the shooting.

The prosecutor asked the jury to find out why, if Sommers had nothing to do with the murder, he would lie to the police for so long, and what he did to earn the car and the house?

Sommers’ attorney, Jeromie Oney, told the jury that none of the evidence presented in the four-day trial proved beyond reasonable doubt that his client participated in a conspiracy to murder Robert Allen. He said the state has already convicted the person who had the most motive to kill Allen.

Oney said that if the jurors looked closely enough, there would be problems with any testimony the prosecutor said point to Sommers’ guilt in the case. He urged them not to “think or guess” his client going to jail if the prosecution failed to meet his burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt.

The key testimony against his client, Oney said, came from Tim Barnum’s father, who had ample reason to lie, whether it was to protect himself from perjury or Tim Barnum from the murder charge.

For more information on the trial of Tim Barnum in the Allen Plumbing murder, https://www.heralddemocrat.com/story/news/2021/04/12/barnum-found-guilty-2017-shooting-death-robert-allen/7195045002/

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