Passenger testifies in capital murder shooting case

Apr. 17—Bedford resident Jeremy Brewer on Tuesday testified that he was sitting in the back seat of Jerry Don Elders' vehicle when Elders shot a Burleson police officer in the early morning hours of April 13, 2021.

Elders, 40, is on trial in the 413th District Court facing the possibility of death or life without parole if found guilty of the kidnapping and shooting death of Burleson resident Robin Waddell.

Elders is also accused of having shot Burleson officer Joshua Lott earlier that same morning before Waddell's death.

Brewer testified that Elders picked him up from a friend's house in Burleson in the early morning of April 13, 2021, intending to take Brewer to get his car in Bedford.

Brewer said Elders' girlfriend was also in the vehicle sitting in the front passenger seat.

Elders was driving and a police officer initiated a traffic stop about five minutes after Elders picked him up, Brewer said.

"As the cop approached the car [Elders] said he was going to shoot him," Brewer said.

Elders then did just that, Brewer said. Brewer said he ducked down in the back seat at that time and that Elders fled the scene immediately after shooting Lott.

Elders' vehicle caught fire a short time later, Brewer said. Brewer said Elders pulled the vehicle off the road into a ditch at which time he, Elders and Elders' girlfriend fled on foot. Brewer said he fled in a different direction from the other two and did not see them again that day.

Brewer said he knew nothing of the subsequent shooting death of Waddell until later informed of it by police.

Elders' allegedly found his way onto Waddell's property near where he abandoned his burning vehicle then kidnapped Waddell and forced her to drive him from the scene in her SUV.

Upon driving into Joshua, Waddell, according to testimony, drove her SUV through the gate of the Joshua Police Department's back parking lot.

She at that point either tried to exit the vehicle or was pushed from her vehicle by Elders who either way allegedly shot her twice in the process.

Elders fled the scene but was located and arrested later that day in Gainesville.

Waddell made her way to the back door of the Joshua Police Department at which point she collapsed and died.

Joshua Simmons, at the time an employee of the Joshua Public Works Department, testified on Tuesday that he witnessed Waddell's SUV crash through the gates and saw the SUV flee the scene.

Simmons said he and a co-worker witnessed the crash and walked toward the scene, JPD being across the street from the public works department, joined halfway by their supervisor.

Simmons described screeching and a lot of noise in what he initially thought to be a traffic accident but also the pop of bullets fired.

Waddell managed to make her way to the door of the police department where she lay motionless after.

Simmons said police and others were already arriving at the scene by the time he covered the short distance from his work to the police station.

Simmons described the day as very traumatic in "watching an innocent lady lose her life."

Wednesday also saw testimony from then Joshua Fire Marshal Raymond Kratky who testified that Waddell showed no signs of life when rescue workers arrived minutes after the shooting.

Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South Emergency Room Doctor Sam Harrellson likewise detailed attempts to save Waddell to no avail.