Two 14-year-olds are in custody, accused of capital murder in the death of 31-year-old mother and food delivery worker Ryan Graham Munsie.
Haltom City police announced the arrests Wednesday evening but released more details Thursday morning about the case and the arrests.
Investigators said Munsie, a mother of three who was working a side job as an Uber Eats driver, was fatally stabbed in the neck during a robbery at the Northern Cross apartments in Haltom City at about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 23.
Munsie was found in the breezeway Saturday night with “obvious signs of trauma,” according to the police department.
“She was delivering food to someone in that building,” Haltom City police Sgt. Eric Peters said on Tuesday.
Munsie did not make it to the customer’s door before she was murdered. The customer was questioned by police and cleared in the case, Peters said.
Meanwhile, Haltom City detectives said they discovered evidence that linked the two juveniles to the case. A SWAT team was called and the two teenagers were taken into custody on Jan. 27 without incident at an apartment complex on the 3600 block of Tanacross Drive in Fort Worth.
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The complex where the teens were arrested is about a half-mile west of where the murder took place.
Haltom City Police detectives say the alleged plot was to steal Munsie’s car at the apartment Munsie was dropping off a food delivery on Saturday night.
When the teens could not find the keys to the car, one is accused of stabbing the 31-year-old in the neck, breaking the knife in the attack.
The police department’s spokesman said the teens were able to take Munsie’s cell phone.
The phone was later found discarded.
Both juveniles were taken to the Tarrant County Juvenile Justice Center in Fort Worth. Because they are juveniles their names and mugshots will not be released to the public.
One of the suspect’s mother was not in court. The judge was told she was not able to be located.
The judge said the teen was last in court in December for evading arrest.
The second suspect’s mother was in court for the virtual hearing. The judge said her son had tested positive this morning for marijuana and asked her where he had gotten ahold of the drug. She responded that she did not know.
Detectives say surveillance video links the two teens to the murder investigation.
An informant in Chicago reportedly told a DEA agent that one of the teens had been talking about the delivery driver’s murder and stated he wanted to leave the area.
The teen allegedly talked about details of the murder that had not been released to the public at that time.
Police say both teens confessed to the murder, however their attorneys question the confession.
Given the severity of the allegations, the judge ordered that both teens be held in custody.
Criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Russell Wilson is not involved in this case but explained the potential legal process facing the minors.
There is a possibility the teens could be charged as adults.
It will be up to the Tarrant County District Attorney and ultimately a district judge to decide if one, or both teens, will face trial as adults.
Minors would first be evaluated based on their past schooling, mental state, criminal background, financial circumstances, said Wilson.
“At the core of it, you really want to try and evaluate: What’s driving this? What happens to get two 14-year-olds in this circumstance where they end up charged,” said Wilson. “You’re trying to evaluate, not necessarily whether they’re competent. They understand what they’re doing, but how much this lack of maturity plays a role in the crimes that happened.”
In general, Wilson’s experience has found that it is possible and sometimes seen where juveniles are charged as adults.
“Oftentimes, when we see very severe criminal conduct, we tend to see a juvenile certified [as an adult] more often than less severe circumstances.”
If convicted of capital murder, the juveniles could be sentenced to life in prison with parole possible after serving 40 years. The teens would not face the death penalty in this case, based on their age.