A man is accused of the gruesome murder of the former boyfriend of his mother in the town of Liberty, Texas.
The Liberty County Sheriff's Office said that 37-year-old Robert Eugene Hoffpaiur murdered 60-year-old Roman Rodriguez after an argument about his relationship with Hoffpaiur's mother.
Police say Rodriguez went to Hoffpaiur's home on Saturday evening and they got into an altercation. Hoffpaiur allegedly beat the man severely, then tied Rodriguez behind his own truck with a tow rope.
Investigators believe he was dragged for about a mile before Hoffpaiur set the truck on fire.
Police said there was a trail of blood leading from the corpse to the home where the altercation began.
The violence has shocked the small community.
"It's got everybody distraught out here," said Chuck Barnes, who was a neighbor and friend to Rodriguez. "It's got everybody distraught and very upset."
"Right now, it seems like it was a domestic situation that went totally out of control and the son stepped in, took action he shouldn't have taken -- far beyond what was called for," said Liberty County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Defoor to KPRC-TV.
"We're getting two or three different stories from both of them," he added. "And we're trying to get to the basic truth, what is the truth."
Authorities say the body of the man was not burned with the truck but that they have not determined if he had died already when he was dragged behind the vehicle. Hoffpaiur was booked into the Liberty County Jail and his bond was set at a $1 million. He is charged with murder and abuse of a corpse.
"He'd do anything in the world for you," said Barnes of Rodriguez. "He'd give his last dollar. You need a hand, he'd come to it."
Here's a local news video about the gruesome murder:
Man beaten, tied to truck and dragged, according to investigators www.youtube.com