A Bell County, Texas, jury found Richard Lee Tabler, 27, Killeen, (pictured) guilty Wednesday of the 2004 murders of two men and two women connected to a Killeen strip club.
The jury will determine next week whether Tabler will be sentenced to death:
Tabler and 1st Cavalry Division Pvt. Timothy D. Payne were charged in connection with the November 2004 shooting deaths of Teazers Gentlemen’s Club owner Mohamed-Amine Rahmouni, 25, and his friend Haitham Zayed, 28, whose bodies were found outside of Killeen and of Teazer’s dancer Tiffany Dotson, 18, and Amber Benefield, 16, whose bodies were found just south of Highway 190.
Payne and Tabler used a video camera to record tape of Tabler shooting Rahmouni and Zayed, witnesses said, but the tape was later destroyed.
The shootings were part of what Bell County authorities described as a bizarre plot
The list of intended victims included eight or nine more people, Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith said after the two were arrested.
Detailed testimony from the trial was provided in the March 21 Killeen Daily Herald:
Kim Gary, formerly Kim Marmie, gave a harrowing account of the morning after the murders. She testified that Tabler and former Fort Hood soldier Tim Payne had returned to her home early that morning with Tabler boasting as he walked through the door.
"He walked in and said he had just killed two guys," Gary said.
She described how the two had video-taped the event, then pulled out the tape and had her watch it.
"I saw the back of a white (Mitsubishi) Eclipse, and I saw Blue (Tabler) grab the passenger and pulled him out," she said. She described a man, whom she admitted she didn't know, waving his arms around slowly as he lay on his back on the ground as Tabler stood over him, holding a gun. She said she watched as Tabler leaned down, pointed his gun, then shot the man in the back of the head at the base of his skull near the neck.
"Then he said, Who's got the power now, Amine?" Gary said.
She said that although it was dark, she could clearly identify Tabler since the camera was equipped with a light. She also said it was clear that Payne was taping the whole thing.
Payne's trial is scheduled for May 21. Payne is a 2004 graduate of East Newton High School.