Affidavit details initial investigation of adoptive father's murder

Affidavit details initial investigation of adoptive father's murder
The scene of the crime on Monday. (Source: KLTV Staff)
The scene of the crime on Monday. (Source: KLTV Staff)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Smith County deputies arrested 28-year-old Randall Britton Monday for allegedly murdering his adoptive father, R.L. Britton, 56, of Tyler. An arrest warrant affidavit obtained by KLTV Wednesday, details the alleged crime.

Randall Britton called 911 after he found a dead male’s body in his home. Britton advised the 911 dispatcher that he did not know who the male was, but also said it was his father. He told the dispatcher that he had known R.L. since he was four years old and that he currently lives with him, but still claimed to not know who he was.

When Smith County Deputies arrived, they found a deceased black male with a severely swollen left eye and cheek lying on the laundry room floor.

Britton told deputies he had been home for about 30 minutes when a friend came over to purchase a computer monitor from him. He went to the laundry room to get the monitor and found R.L.’s body. Britton told his friend to leave and then called 911.

Deputies noted Britton was very sweaty and seemed to be nervous, but he told them he would cooperate in any way he needed to. Deputies also noted Britton had new scratches on his right hand and a small abrasion on his left hand, consistent to the injuries on the victim’s face. Britton told deputies he had punched a tree earlier that week, which caused the scratches.

Britton told deputies he’s a patient at the Andrews Center for a mental disability. He said he is supposed to be medicated for his illness.

Crime scene detectives found a drag mark and a blood trail from the living room area to the laundry room where R.L. was found in Britton’s home.

Detectives made contact with R.L.’s brother, Ivory Joe Williams, and sister, Tracey Shepheard-Harris. They both stated Britton had beaten up on R.L. on several different occasions, but R.L. did not report the incidents to police.

Detectives identified Britton as the suspect because he is the only person with access to the residence, his injuries were consistent with the injuries on R.L.’s face, and he has a history of violent tendencies toward R.L.

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