2010-07-15 / Front Page

Leads sought in 2008 murder

New investigators have been assigned to the case, and more evidence has been gathered from the crime scene, but the father of Dexter McLean doesn’t believe a resolution is imminent.

“They’re not telling us much,” Charles McLean said. “They’ve got a couple of new detectives, and the same FBI agent is working the case. I thought if I raised this reward someone would come forward.”

Charles and Chanda McLean found their 19-yearold son shot to death on his bedroom floor of their Flint home on July 5, 2008, and said more than a year ago it may have been a retaliatory killing by members of the white supremacist group Aryan Brotherhood.

Charles said they still believe the group is responsible for their son’s death.

“A guy has been arrested — probably a suspect — who worked for me,” he said. “He’s being held somewhere in Longview by the U.S. Marshals Service for robbing a bunch of pawn shops. He’s like the captain of Aryan Brotherhood.”

Charles said he knows the man.

“This guy worked for me for a year and a half,” he said. “I was always on him because he sneaked guns into work. He was off the night Dexter was killed, so he might be connected. I’m trying to figure out where he was that night.”

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office would not confi rm or deny the arrest or whether the man is a suspect in Dexter’s death.

“Persons of interest in this case have been identifi ed and will continue to be investigated until they are eliminated as to their possible involvement in the case,” Lt. Tony Dana said. “The Smith County Sheriff’s Office cannot, at this time, release details of this investigation, including names of persons of interest or any specific evidence associated with this case.”

But Charles said one sheriff’s official told the family “we’ve got something we’ve been waiting for.”

In March, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI spent two or three hours conducting forensic analysis of the McLeans’ home, Charles said.

“They went into the bedrooms and took some more swabs of blood. We don’t know if it’s Dex’s blood or someone else’s blood. It doesn’t get any easier.”

The FBI in Dallas did not respond to a request for comment, but Dana told The Statesman FBI agents are still involved.

“The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, comprised of federal agents and detectives from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, are actively working the case,” he said. “Possible leads surface weekly and each is thoroughly investigated. Interviews with persons calling in tips and information take place on a weekly basis. Additional evidence is being readied for submission to the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab.”

While neighbors were celebrating Independence Day and shooting fireworks late into the night, one or more intruders entered the McLeans’ Harbor Way house through a bedroom window, where blood not belonging to anyone who lived there was found on furniture.

That evidence was sent to Dallas for processing and later taken to Washington by federal agents.

The McLeans believe members of Aryan Brotherhood killed Dexter on July 4 following a confrontation he had with another man three weeks earlier while trying to protect Chanda.

On the night Dexter was murdered, Charles and Chanda were at Teasers, the club they owned in Tyler until about four months ago. Dexter was home alone, and six of their vehicles were in the driveway.

Initially, sheriff’s officials said they believed it was a botched burglary. But only two items with little value were taken and the house was mostly undisturbed when Charles and Chanda returned around 3:30 the next morning.

But two things stood out to them before they went inside. The light in Dexter’s bedroom in a front corner of the house was still on, and the front door was locked. The McLeans never locked their doors.

According to witness and other reports, the McLeans believe Dexter’s killers came onto the property between 10 and 11 p.m. After trying to enter every window on the front side of the house, they jumped a fence to the backyard.

There, the family’s 5-year-old chocolate Labrador, Zeta, may have attacked the suspects.

She was shot in the head and died a few feet away near the pool. A neighbor heard the popping sound of gunfire but passed it off as fireworks.

Moments later, the suspects climbed into the couple’s bedroom window, and one of them reportedly left blood on an armoir. Just seconds earlier, Dexter realized something was wrong and may have tried to call 911. His parents found his cell phone on their bed.

Police told the McLeans a .22-caliber pistol was used in the murder. The first round grazed Dexter’s head and came to rest in his bedroom floor.

The other was fired into the back of his head as he lay face down on the floor with his arms out to his sides.

The McLeans are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Dexter’s death.

“I raised the reward from $25,000 to $50,000,” Charles said. “But I haven’t gotten anything on the tip line. I carry that phone around with me.”

Tips can be submitted by calling 903-920-2561, emailing tips@dexmclean. com, visiting www.dexmclean. com, or by calling the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-590-2689 or 903-590-2690.

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