Man Accused Of Posing As A Minor Online To Lure And Kill Sex Offender
A 24-year-old Texas man was arrested on Wednesday after police said he posed as a minor online, in order to lure in a convicted sex offender and murder him.
James Lewis Spencer III is charged with the murder of Sean Connery Showers, a convicted sex offender who was found dead in the early morning of May 29, 2023, in a ditch in Houston, according to a press release from Houston police.
According to a bail order obtained by HuffPost, surveillance video showed Spencer driving up to Showers and firing multiple shots into his body before speeding off.
Investigators found a phone underneath the victim’s body which revealed he had planned to meet up with someone nearby, ABC affiliate KTRK reports.
Per the bail order, investigators were able to trace cellphone records back to Spencer, who they said pretended to be a minor and had conversations with Showers about his “prior sexual history with minors.”
Rehaman Merchant, the chief prosecutor for the 179th District Court in Houston, told KTRK that conversations between Spencer and Showers on Kik, an instant messaging app, were “sexual in nature,” adding that police believed they were meeting to engage in sexual activity.
Showers was ordered to attend sex offender treatment and register himself as a sex offender following his supervised release. However, a search of the national sex offender registry’s web portal returns no results for his name.
According to a request to modify his conditions, Showers was arrested again in 2018 and charged with soliciting a minor. He was sentenced to 9 months in prison with a lifetime of supervision upon release.
A third-party witness told investigators that Spencer had made comments about his belief that police “were not doing enough to keep pedophiles incarcerated,” according to Spencer’s bail order.
The witness stated that Spencer wanted to “rob and harm those type of men [because] they would do bad things to little children and other people and he knew how to track them by an app on the phone,” according to the document.
The witness then told police that a month later, Spencer mused that “if the cops were not going to do anything, maybe he should kill them himself.”
Merchant described the alleged crime to KTRK as a “planned execution” and that detectives are investigating Spencer’s case to determine if he targeted other sex offenders.
“I think he targeted an individual, he set up a meet, knew where he was going to be, and then discharged a weapon multiple times and then just went back home like nothing happened,” Merchant told the outlet.
According to court records, Spencer is represented by a public defender. The Harris County Public Defenders Office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for a comment.