A deadly search

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 12:36pm

He was the son of the first Republican Texas Governor since reconstruction. And now, it is confirmed.
B. Gill Clements has been killed.

The son of former Governor Bill Clements, B. Gill Clements took over the reigns of his father’s oil exploration company Sedco.

It was later sold and became Transocean, best known these days as one of the companies involved in the BP oil spill.

He was a quiet, peaceful man according to friends. That’s why the events of Friday night have authorities mystified…

The bullet-riddled command car says it all. The search for Gill Clements ended violently.

“That’s what occurred on Friday,” said Officer Don Martin of the Tyler P.D. “when we realized that we had a person that was a danger to officers. And this vehicle responded to the Athens area to deal with the situation.”

These days, the 69-year-old son of former Governor Bill and stepson of Rita Clements, was head of the B. Gill Clements Foundation, a philanthropic non-profit, and lived on a ranch near Athens. He disappeared late Thursday night, and a search of his ranch began Friday.

As sheriff’s deputies neared the border of neighbor Howard Tod Granger’s land, he met them with an AK-47 rifle, and threatened to kill them all.

Tyler Police supplied an armored vehicle and SWAT unit, and Sheriff Ray Nutt returned with a search warrant Friday afternoon

“At that point he opened fire with an AK-47,” said Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt.

“It took over 40 rounds on this vehicle,” Martin added.

Granger met them with gunfire.

“We returned fire…one shot. And the suspect was killed,” Nutt told us.

On Granger’s property they found what they all feared the most.

“We located a grave on the property.,” said the Sheriff.

And in that shallow grave was a body…a body now positively identified as B. Gill Clements.

Granger’s wife has been taken into custody, and Sheriff’s Deputies are thankful for an ugly truck that kept them safe.

The why and the how of the killing of B. Gill Clements are yet to be determined. Sheriff Nutt told us this afternoon that they are piecing together a picture of Howard Tod Granger, and that his wife may be able to fill the blanks of a tragic and strange crime.

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