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Shooting victim recoveing, accused attackers linked to more crime

Updated: Friday, August 8 2014, 04:14 AM CDT
JASPER COUNTY - by Haley Bull

Investigators are learning new information about a group of men linked to a violent crime spree in Jasper and Newton Counties, including robberies, shootings and a stabbing. Investigators are now connecting them to another crime.

Michael Byerly, Keeyan Seastrunk and Xavier Clark are charged with aggravated robbery. A judge set their bonds at $1 million each. They're accused of breaking into the home of a 75-year old man and shooting him in March.

Thursday, Doug Bean was back at work and not letting his attackers slow him down. He went about his everyday business, a part-time job mowing the side of the roads.

"So far, I haven't had any, I've been good,"he said.

There's little sign of the violent crime the 75-year old fell victim to.

"We don't ever think about something like this happening," Bean said.

March 21, 2014 Bean returned to his home on County Road 823, south of Evadale. He saw a car outside his house, then a man came out the front door. The man went back inside. While Bean tried to leave, three men came out the back.

"He just said shoot him, shoot him and get his money," Bean said. "They shot me here and it stopped right here," he said pointing to his stomach.

"They was out of money, they was headed towards Oraneg and was looking for a lick so they just randomly picked his house," Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman said.

While Bean recovered from his gunshot wound, investigators searched for his attackers.

Now, the accused are behind bars. Michael Byerly, Keeyan Seastrunk and Xavier Clark are charged with aggravated robbery.

"They want to be gangsters you know, they have no remorse. None of them ask how anybody's doing or anything like that. I mean there's not a lot of difference between them and an animal to me," Newman said.

This isn't the first time investigators have linked the men to a shooting.

Byerly, Seastrunk and Clark are charged in connection with the robbery and shooting of an elderly couple north of Jasper also in March. Doug Shellhammer, 75, was shot outside his house, dragged back inside and then his wife shot. The attackers left with the couple's life savings.

Byerly and Clark, along with Keith Collins Jr. are facing federal charged for a June bank robbery in Newton County in which the bank manager was stabbed five times.

Byerly, Seastrunk and Collins are also charged with attempting to rob a homeowner last year on County Road 725 and firing a shot that struck a woman through the window.

"If anything good out of this, everybody's alive, everybody's lived, back at work and they didn't win," Newman said.

"I'm very fortunate to be alive. There was somebody looking after me," Bean said. "It could have been a lot worse."

The sheriff said they are still working to tie up "loose-ends" in the investigations.
Shooting victim recoveing, accused attackers linked to more crime

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