NM man murdered in Wichita Falls motel, taxi driver gave police tip

Wichita Falls_A New Mexico man was murdered in a Wichita Falls motel on Friday morning.  Wichita Falls Police say they discovered 46-year-old Robert Sommer of Albuquerque was dead in an Econo-Lodge room.  Sommer was shot in the head, and police pronounced him dead at the scene.  Less than two hours later, police arrested 49-year-old Brian Jensen, also from New Mexico, and charged him with murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. Jensen already had a bench warrant out for his arrest in Arizona.

The police had help in the case - from a taxi company.  The police caught the murder suspect when the cab driver called them.  At 12:38 a.m., an All American cab driver flagged down Wichita Falls Police Officer Jesse Bartow, and told the officer he had picked up a passenger at the Econo-Lodge.

The passenger borrowed the driver's cell phone, and the driver overheard the passenger say that he'd been in a fight in room 446.  Police say that the driver heard his passenger say he shot another person.  "He told the officer that there might be somebody seriously hurt there," says Sargeant Joe Snyder with the Wichita Falls Police Department.  "Officers checked welfare at room 446, and had to be let in by management where they found a man deceased from a gunshot wound to the head."

While speaking with police, the driver received a call from another cab driver.  This second driver said he thought he had just dropped off the suspect at the Lawrence Road Wal-Mart.  Police drove to the Wal-Mart where they found Jensen exiting the store.  He was in possession of a handgun, and there was blood on his hands, and the gun.

Police credit the All American Cab Company with assisting in making an arrest.  "Those are the only people that are out at night," says Snyder.  "But they kind of keep their ears open, and their eyes open, and they know what's going in their community."  He says he wishes all homicides could be cleared up in two hours, and that partnership with the community helps resolve issues quickly.  "We partner a lot with the citizens, and we try to do that through proactive patrol and proactive crime prevention."

The police still are investigating Jensen's motive, but say he knew the victim, they were in Texas working on a construction job together.  Jensen is being held at the Wichita County Jail on a one million dollar bond.

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