A Dallas County grand jury indicted Keith Ashley, the owner of Nine Band Brewing Company in Allen, on a capital murder charge Wednesday.
Investigators said last fall that Ashley cooked up a plan to steal money through fraud and murder by staging the death of 62-year-old James "Jim" Seegan to look like a suicide.
According to the grand jury's indictment, Ashley fatally shot Seegan in the course of attempting to rob him. The addition of the robbery offense to the murder makes it a capital crime. If convicted of capital murder in Texas, Ashely will either face life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
The investigation started on Feb. 19, 2020, when police were called to Seegan's Carrollton home for an apparent suicide.
Seegan's wife called police after finding her husband dead of a gunshot wound to the head after she returned home, police said.
"There were some things, in evidence from the scene, that instantly had our detectives say let's take a closer look at this one," Carrollton Police Information Manager Jolene DeVito said.
A typed suicide note was found nearby and an arrest warrant said police found a gun in Seegan's left hand resting on his left thigh. But his wife told police he was right-handed and didn't own a gun.
According to police, Ashley was Seegan's friend and financial advisor who would periodically visit the Seegan home.
Over the course of a nine-month investigation, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, detectives found evidence that they said indicates Ashley incapacitated Seegan before murdering him in an attempt to gain control of his finances.
"The deeper they looked into the finances the more troubling it became," DeVito said.
Carrollton police teamed with federal authorities. They claimed Ashley defrauded at least six people out of more than $1 million in what they call a Ponzi-type scheme.
A federal indictment said he used the money for "personal expenses and personal benefit, such as brewery expenses, spending at casinos, payments on personal credit cards, mortgage payments, college tuition, and student loan payments…"
Ashley was taken into federal custody near his home in Allen on Nov. 13, 2020, on related wire fraud charges.
NBC 5's Vince Sims contributed to this report.