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2 arrested for ‘execution style’ double murder of a son and mother, who was in her kitchen cooking breakfast: Affidavit


Jawara Oji Black, left, and Samuel Atinafu Melkamu are facing capitol murder charges in the execution-style deaths of 66-year-old Lilia Fernandez Ortiz and her son 43-year-old Alejandro Arrellano-Fernandez in Lewisville, Texas, police say. (Denton County Jail)

Two men were arrested after shooting a mother and son “execution style” in Texas, according to an arrest affidavit.

Police in Lewisville, near Dallas, were called to a home after a relative found 66-year-old Lilia Fernandez Ortiz and her son 43-year-old Alejandro Arrellano-Fernandez dead. The relative said she hadn’t heard from them for a couple of days so she went to the home and found Fernandez Ortiz dead in the kitchen and Arrellano-Fernandez dead in the garage. Both were suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and were in the home for several days before being found as their bodies were badly decomposed, according to Lewisville police.

Samuel Atinafu Melkamu, 37, was arrested two days after the incident while Jawara Oji Black, 51, was arrested Tuesday in Houston, Lewisville police said. Both are facing capital murder charges.

Some of the incident was captured by a neighbor’s surveillance video, the affidavit said. It shows Arrellano-Fernandez walking outside the home shortly before 8 a.m. on Aug. 10, with two men closely following behind him who shove him to the ground. One of the men, later identified as Melkamu, pulled out a gun. All three men began fighting and then video shows Melkamu “flinch” as he leans over Arrellano-Fernandez followed by a brass bullet casing rolling across the concrete, the affidavit said.

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Another video shows a man believed to be Black dragging an unresponsive Arrellano-Fernandez across the grass on a painter’s tarp through the driveway and into the garage before closing the door, according to the affidavit. Black also ripped off Arrellano-Fernandez’s gold chain, cops wrote.

Police believe both Arrellano-Fernandez and his mother were shot execution style. Based on the way Fernandez Ortiz was found, investigators believe she may have been cooking before she was killed as there were two cups of coffee and a plate of uneaten breakfast food, the affidavit said.

“Due to the manner in which [Arrellano-Fernandez] was killed on video, and [Fernandez Ortiz’s] placement in the kitchen, having been actively cooking food and the blood spatter patterns indicative that she was shot closer to the floor than her natural standing height, it is apparent that both decedents were shot in the head ‘execution style’ by placing them on their knees or a position of disadvantage.”

The home was ransacked with dresser drawers emptied, a mattress flipped over and boxes in closets gone through, according to the affidavit. A vehicle was also stolen and later recovered at a nearby apartment complex that shared a parking lot with a hotel, which showed the two suspects leaving before the murders and walking to the scene of the crime, police said.

Detectives and neighbors recognized one of the suspects in the video as “Sam,” a homeless man who slept in his car at a nearby park, the affidavit said. Neighbors said Melkamu would occasionally do work for Arrellano-Fernandez’s construction business.

A neighbor told detectives that Arellano-Fernandez may have owed money to Melkamu for work he had done, the affidavit said. Text messages showed Melkamu asking Arrellano-Fernandez about money owed a week before the murders. Melkamu said his phone could be cut off if he didn’t receive the money, the affidavit said.

Neighbors told Dallas Fox affiliate KDFW that Melkamu stayed at the home where the homicide occurred and did yard work and other odd jobs around the neighborhood and would chat with people walking by.

“He always waved. He was a nice person,” neighbor Gordon Welch told the TV station.

Welch said he was stunned Melkamu was involved in such a horrible crime in what is usually a quiet neighborhood.

“That’s why it’s hard to believe he was the person of interest and now arrested,” Welch said. “… We saw him more than we saw anyone else, sitting in the front porch on that chair.”

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