GALVESTON

A Missouri City man accused of killing an island security guard in 2017 was arrested in Rosenberg last week, apparently after having been released from prison, where he was held for violating parole.

Brandon Ledford, 20, was booked into the Galveston County Jail on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office.

But local authorities were left wondering how and why Ledford got free at all.

The Rosenberg Police Department on Thursday had arrested Ledford on an outstanding Galveston murder warrant.

Police arrested Ledford when he reported to a parole officer for a monthly visit, a Rosenberg Police Department spokesman said.

Ledford is accused of killing Phillip Molis, 23, an unarmed security guard at the San Luis Resort in Galveston on April 9, 2017. Molis was shot multiple times while confronting a group of people breaking into cars in the hotel parking lot, police said. He died six days after the shooting.

Police identified Ledford as a suspect after watching him pick up another suspect, Tyronne Haynes, from the Galveston County Jail on April 16. Haynes had been arrested the night of the shooting. Police responding to the shooting had found him hiding in a lot near the hotel parking lot where Molis was gunned down, according to case documents.

Haynes admitted in an interview to helping burglarize vehicles and pleaded guilty to engaging in organized criminal activity in August, according to case records.

Ledford was arrested April 16, 2017, but was not charged with murder at the time. Soon after his arrest in Galveston, he was sent to Fort Bend County on a felony probation warrant, and Galveston police continued their investigation, according to police.

In October 2017, investigators received a DNA report that connected Ledford to a latex glove found at the scene of the shooting, police said.

A Galveston County grand jury indicted Ledford on a murder charge in December 2017, but he continued to be held in Fort Bend County. He was later transferred to the state prison in Huntsville to serve the remainder of the sentence he had been on probation for, according to prison records.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice released Ledford on Oct. 9, according to the records.

Court records from Galveston County indicate Ledford was not immediately taken back into custody. It’s unclear when local officials knew Ledford was no longer in prison. It’s not clear why that happened.

District Court Judge Patricia Grady on Dec. 11 issued a new warrant for Ledford’s arrest. A document attached to Grady’s order said Ledford had been released from prison but not returned to Galveston County.

“At this time, we are attempting to determine how Mr. Ledford was released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on parole,” Galveston County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Gurski said. “We are thankful that he has been returned to the custody of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.”

Ledford arrived back in Galveston County on Friday. His bond was set at $1 million, according to court records. He was still in custody Monday afternoon.

Ledford’s murder trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 7, according to court records.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

Senior Reporter

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