Man arrested in Knoxville; wanted for 1977 murder in Texas

Man arrested in Knoxville; wanted for 1977 murder in El Paso, Texas

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Roger Evan Garrett (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Roger Evan Garrett (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Lizbeth Ann Garrett (source: El Paso County Sheriff's Office) Lizbeth Ann Garrett (source: El Paso County Sheriff's Office)
Major Chester Garrett (Source: El Paso County Sheriff's Office) Major Chester Garrett (Source: El Paso County Sheriff's Office)

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A man arrested Thursday in Knoxville is one of two people wanted in El Paso, Texas for the 1977 murder of a decorated U.S. Army officer.

Roger Evan Garrett, was taken into custody by Knoxville police and El Paso County Sheriff's Office homicide detectives Thursday night.

Garrett had been living in the Willows apartment complex in West Hills at the time of his arrest.

"We actually went to his apartment," said Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Darrell DeBusk. "He wasn't there. We were able to make contact with him on his phone. Obviously, he didn't know we were calling about the homicide. He thought we were calling about another issue and he made the suggestion for him to come by. When he did we placed him into custody."

Garrett is the step-son of Major Chester Garrett, who was found dead in January 1977 in El Paso County.

"[Major Garrett] did four tours in Vietnam," said Sgt. Jim Belknat with the El Paso Sheriff's Office. "According to military authorities, he was one of the most highly decorated soldiers in the Vietnam era."

At about the same time as Roger Garrett's arrest, El Paso County authorities arrested Lizbeth Ann Garrett, 74. She was Major Garrett's estranged wife.

Major Garrett was assigned to Ft. Bliss at the time of his murder.

Authorities say their investigation became inactive over the years, but resumed in 2006 when Major Garrett's immediate family asked them to reopen the case. They say new information was uncovered.

"We are extremely happy for the arrests to this point," said Sgt. Belknat. "That extends mostly towards the family."

Roger Garrett is charged with murder. He will face a Knox County judge before being extradited to Texas. He is a being held on a $5 million bond.

Lizbeth Ann Garrett is also charged with murder and is held on a $5 million bond.

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