GALVESTON

Authorities on Thursday charged a man with murder in connection to the April shooting death of a hotel security guard in the parking lot behind the San Luis Resort.

Brandon Rashard Ledford, 19, of Missouri City, was charged in connection to the shooting death of Phillip Molis, 23.

Molis, of Galveston, died six days after he was shot April 9 in a parking lot on Sias Street behind the hotel, which is in the 5200 block of Seawall Boulevard.

Ledford’s arrest is the second in connection to the case. Ledford had been jailed on a warrant in Fort Bend County since mid-April, according to an affidavit.

The first man arrested, Tyronne Davis Haynes, 22, had been charged with criminal trespass after being arrested the night of the shooting. He was released from jail April 16. The status of charges against him was unclear Thursday.

Molis, who was unarmed, was shot about 10 p.m. as he approached a group of men burglarizing automobiles in the parking lot, witnesses told police.

A hotel employee looking out a window saw three hooded men burglarizing cars and reported that to Molis, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The employee told police he watched as Molis approached the three men and saw him being shot, according to the affidavit.

The shooting set off a manhunt with dogs and helicopters through the neighborhoods immediately south of the hotel.

Police said they found Haynes hiding behind a fence nearby, according to the affidavit. He was wearing clothes similar to what had been described to police, according to the affidavit.

Haynes told police he had been burglarizing cars in the parking lot and had left when he heard gunshots, according to the affidavit.

Haynes wouldn’t tell police who else was with him, but police found a cellphone on him, according to the affidavit.

Police on April 10 also found a 9 mm Beretta handgun in the 3200 block of Heron Drive, just a few blocks east of the shooting, according to the affidavit.

Police identified the cellphone as Haynes’ girlfriend’s and interviewed her April 11, according to the affidavit.

The girlfriend told police that Haynes and a man, later identified as Ledford, had gone to Galveston and she had communicated with them through Snapchat, according to the affidavit.

The girlfriend told police she thought a third man took them because they didn’t have a car, according to the affidavit.

Police searched the phone and found, among other items, pictures of Ledford holding a firearm similar to the one they found near the scene, according to the affidavit.

Officers set up surveillance as Haynes was released from jail April 16 and saw Ledford at the jail and then leave in the passenger seat of a Lexus automobile, according to the affidavit. Police followed the Lexus, and after a chase, placed Ledford into custody, according to the affidavit.

Ledford was wanted on a felony probation violation warrant in Fort Bend County at the time, according to the affidavit.

Police later visited Ledford at the Fort Bend County jail and served him with a DNA swab warrant, according to the affidavit.

Evidence from that test showed a strong match to items collected during the investigation, according to the affidavit.

Ledford was charged with murder, according to the affidavit. His bond is set at $300,000.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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(3) comments

Julie Molis

Thank you Galveston Police 👮 Department and to the Detectives who work on getting this guy charge. Special thanks to Det. Morrison. Six months ago this monster change our lives forever. Phillip did not deserve to die from these heartless criminal. I live everyday with only good memories and my heart ❤️ my family is so broken from this. I miss him so much i will never see him again. Thank you for your prayers and support to you all. God Bless each and everyone of you. 💙🙏🏼🖤

Donna Fraley

Julie. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family on a daily basis. This was such a senseless act. I thank God that one has been officially charged.

Margarita Sims

Good to hear of this arrest. I believe the directions may be wrong in the article? The neighborhoods searched were north of the hotel, and Heron is west of the hotel, not east. I remember that night . So sad for Molis' family.

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