Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

March 14, 2013

FW police arrest man in Pickens death

Burleson TCU student accused of evidence tampering


A 21-year-old Burleson native has been charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the Jan. 29 death of Thomas Boone “Ty” Pickens IV, grandson of oil magnate T. Boone Pickens II.

Fort Worth Police confirmed that Brennan Trainor Rodriguez, 21, has been charged with tampering with evidence, a third degree felony. 

Police declined to elaborate, but according to published reports, Rodriguez removed heroin, Zanax, marijuana, syringes and other drug paraphernalia from his apartment, where Pickens died, before calling police. 

According to reports published in TCU 360, the official student newspaper of Texas Christian University where Pickens was a student, Rodriguez is a TCU undergraduate, majoring in environmental earth resources. 

TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert said Rodriguez has been suspended pending a hearing through the university’s disciplinary process, as is customary in such cases.

WFAA Channel 8 News reported Monday that Rodriguez’s cousin, Andrew Tittle, first contacted police on Jan. 29 and then went to the police department the following day to give a written statement regarding the circumstances of Pickens’ death. 

He told police Rodriguez called and told him that he and Pickens were doing drugs, and Tittle said he had seen Rodriguez “shoot up” Pickens with a dose of heroin.

Tittle said that when he and Rodriguez later discovered Pickens unconscious in Rodriguez’s living room, Rodriguez asked Tittle to drive Pickens to the hospital rather than calling 9-1-1, so that Rodriguez could hide the drugs and other paraphernalia. 

Tittle said about two months earlier, another person overdosed at Rodriguez’s apartment, and that Rodriguez had gotten in trouble over that incident after calling 9-1-1. That person survived, WFAA reported.

In their initial search of Rodriguez’s apartment, police found one syringe on top of the refrigerator, They later discovered the rest of the paraphernalia and the drugs in a maintenance closet across from Rodriguez’s apartment.

Rodriguez remains free on a $5,000 bond. His next court date is March 26.

According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner, Pickens died at 9:20 a.m. Jan. 29 at Baylor All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth. The manner and cause of his death remain undetermined, pending the results of toxicology tests.

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