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Saturday, March 28, 1998
Arrested man, victim had feuded
JACKSONVILLE, Texas (AP) -- Authorities have jailed a 30-year-old
man in the slaying of a man missing for 34 days whose body has
been found in brushy swampland in rural Anderson County.
Bobby Sexton, 38, had been missing since Feb. 20. Cherokee
County Sheriff James Campbell said Friday that an informant told
sheriff's investigators where to find the body.
Michael Fielding, 30, who had been feuding with Sexton, was
arrested Thursday night and held on $500,000 bond. Sexton and
Fielding were arrested in January for fighting. According to court
records, the two men have a history of confrontation and threats
against each other.
Officials said the body was found Wednesday in a remote swamp
on oil land that was the subject of an exhaustive manhunt on March
The body was sent to Dallas for tests to confirm the identity,
but Campbell told the Jacksonville Daily Progress, "It's
got to be him."
Authorities interviewed Fielding a week after Sexton's disappearance.
Fielding's mother had told police he knew someone had shot Sexton.
Sexton and his second wife, Patricia, 22, had been separated.
Sexton was awarded custody of their three children -- ages 5,
4 and 3 -- following a December hearing. At the hearing, Ms. Sexton
acknowledged Fielding as an acquaintance, but denied a romantic
Family members expressed relief Thursday at reports that Sexton's
body apparently had been found.
"He's been missing for a month, so we pretty well satisfied
ourselves he was dead," said Sexton's father, Dewayne. "We
hope it's him so it will take the anxiety off us and we can take
care of him properly."
Campbell said investigators received information last week
to search the Neches River and creeks running into the river near
the Cherokee-Anderson County line.
"We spotted him from a bridge about 70 feet away,"
he said. "It's real rough country with a lot of backroads
Until Wednesday, only the Chevrolet Suburban Sexton was last
seen driving had turned up during the 34-day search. It was found
the day after Sexton's disappearance in Dialville, a town eight
miles southeast of Jacksonville.
Human blood was found on both the inside and outside of the
vehicle and a section of carpet and a seat were also missing.
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