BEAUMONT, Texas — A man suspected of being connected to the fatal shooting of a Beaumont father and business owner near his west end home has been formally indicted on federal charges.
Bernard James Bell, 26, of Beaumont, was originally arrested by Beaumont Police for tampering with evidence and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the death of Anthony Wilson on April 11, 2019.
Bell is a convicted felon and is the brother of one of the previously arrested suspects in the shooting death of Anthony Wilson according to police.
A 15-year-old male was arrested as a suspect in the shooting, along with a 17-year-old and 18-year-old.
From a U.S. Attorney's Office news release...
A 26-year-old Beaumont, Texas man has been indicted for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.
Bernard James Bell was arrested on Apr. 17, 2019, pursuant to a criminal complaint issued by the U.S. District Court charging him with felon in possession of a firearm. Bell was indicted on those charges by a federal grand jury on May 1, 2019.
According to information presented in court, on Apr. 11, 2019, law enforcement officers began investigating a homicide that occurred in Beaumont’s west end. On Apr. 14, 2019, investigators learned that Bell was provided a firearm that was used in connection with that homicide. After speaking with Bell, investigators recovered the firearm and determined that Bell had possessed it. Further investigation revealed Bell is a convicted felon having several convictions in Jefferson County, Texas in 2011 and 2012. As a convicted felon, Bell is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.
If convicted, Bell faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James.
It is important to note that a complaint, arrest, or indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.