A long-running conflict involving a burned-down homeless camp, two dead dogs and a pump-action shotgun stuffed in a duffle bag has landed two men in jail on multiple felony charges, police said.

The charges against Dewane Mueller, of Texas City, and Troy Eldridge, of La Marque, have been filed over the course of months, according to court records.

Most recently, a Galveston County grand jury Dec. 4 indicted Eldridge on two counts of animal cruelty, according to Galveston County court records.

He’s accused of shooting and killing Mueller’s dogs, according to police complaints.

The conflict began about August, however, when Mueller called police to the 5600 block of FM 1765 and told officers he suspected Eldridge had killed his dogs, according to a complaint.

Mueller, who is homeless, told police he and Eldridge had been friends and that he sometimes showered and did laundry at Eldridge’s house, according to the complaint.

The pair had recently had a falling out, however, Mueller told police.

Mueller told officers Eldridge had tried to run him over with a truck, and had burned down his campsite behind a La Marque auto parts store, according to the complaint.

Mueller said the dogs had been shot after he left them tied up at the camp while he went to a nearby food store, according to the complaint.

Mueller said he had heard three gunshots and then saw Eldridge driving away from the campsite, according to the complaint.

He showed police the dogs’ remains, and the officers took a report. Officers did not immediately interview Eldridge, because police records indicated Eldridge had mental health issues and previous weapons arrests, according to the complaint.

On Aug. 24, three Texas City police officers went to Eldridge’s home in the 800 block of Retama Street to attempt to speak to him, according to the complaint.

Officers found that someone had written “dog killer” in orange spray paint on the side of a car, according to the complaint.

They also found Mueller, who officers said was sitting on a cinder-block wall across the street from Eldridge’s house. Officers questioned Mueller about the spray paint, but he denied being involved in the vandalism, according to the complaint.

Officers searched a duffel bag that Mueller had with him and found a loaded pump-action shotgun, rope and electrical cords, according to the complaint.

Mueller was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, according to police records. He was held on $25,000 bond, according to court records.

Eldridge was arrested on animal cruelty charges Nov. 23, according to court records.

A grand jury indicted Eldridge on those same charges Dec. 4, according to court records. Eldridge was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and assault, according to court records.

He was being held at the Galveston County Jail on $76,500 bond, according to court records.

Both men were still in custody Friday morning, according to jail records.

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


Senior Reporter

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