Prosecutors say couple lured customer from club to rob him
By Steven Kreytak
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Elmore Allen spent his final night alive last year at the Hot Bodies Gentlemen’s Club in Southeast Austin, where he drank, flashed cash and got table dances from several strippers, including Jessica Krause-Patterson, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
When Allen, 49, left the club at closing time, he was with Krause-Patterson. The next morning, he was dead in the parking lot of an apartment complex where Krause-Patterson, then 19, used to live, said prosecutor Kathryn Scales.
Scales told a Travis County jury that Allen was killed while being robbed by Krause-Patterson, 20, and her boyfriend, Jon Tyrell Banks, 23. They are being tried together on murder and aggravated robbery charges before senior state District Judge Bob Perkins.
They each face up to life in prison if convicted of either charge.
[ David Frank, who represents Banks, gave the jury a different version of what happened that night. He said Allen was intoxicated, had groped Krause-Patterson while giving her a ride home and that Banks later attacked Allen to save Krause-Patterson from him.
“There is no intent to kill Elmore Allen,” Frank said. “His intent was to save his girlfriend from what is obviously and imminently going to be a sexual assault.” ]
Scales said Hot Bodies is an all-nude strip club off Burleson Road and that Krause-Patterson would usually get rides to and from the club from Banks. The night of Allen’s death, Banks was there but left 15 minutes before closing with his brother, she said.
While Krause-Patterson rode in Allen’s truck from the club to an apartment complex on Bluff Springs Road near Interstate 35 and William Cannon Drive, she and Banks were in constant communication on their cellphones, Scales said.
Scales did not disclose the content but said those communications made it clear their intent was “to lure Elmore Allen from Hot Bodies and to separate him from his money.”
She told the jurors that Banks’ brother will testify that he drove Banks to that apartment complex around that time, parked near the front and waited for a time while Banks walked away before returning with Krause-Patterson.
Allen was found dead later that morning with his pockets turned inside out and his cellphone, wallet and one of his rings gone, Scales said. He had a gash near his eye, his head was resting on a stone garden retaining wall, and he had suffered “a devastating fatal wound to the back of his head,” she said.
Banks later gave a friend a ring taken from Allen and told someone that he may have killed a man, Scales said.
Krause-Patterson’s lawyer, Russ Hunt Jr., reserved his opening statement for later in the trial.
[ Frank, Banks’ lawyer, implored the jury to wait to hear all of the evidence before reaching a conclusion.
Frank said Banks and his brother went to the club the night Allen died but left just before closing to get gas. Finding the brothers gone when the club closed at 2 a.m., Krause-Patterson accepted an offer of a ride with Allen, Frank said.
During the drive, Allen turned the radio up so Krause-Patterson could not make calls on her cellphone and began groping her, Frank said.
“Elmore Allen is breathing heavy on her,” Frank said. “He had his hands on her shoulders, on her breasts. He was feeling her all over.”
Frank said Krause-Patterson directed Allen to a friend’s apartment complex because she did not want to tell a customer where she lived. Frank said that Krause-Patterson asked Allen to let her out during the drive but that he refused.
When they got to the Colonial Village at Canyon Hills apartments on Bluff Springs Road, Krause-Patterson got out and tried to walk away, but Allen followed her and would not let go of her, Frank said.
“She is screaming ‘Let go of me,'” Frank said.
He told the jury that soon Banks, who had been alerted by text message that Krause-Patterson asked to be dropped at that complex, came running and told Allen, “Get off my girlfriend.”
“Elmore Allen, who has a blood alcohol concentration of .09, gets in front of Jessica and says, ‘Oh, no, you don’t. I’m the man here,” Frank said. “And J.T. (Banks) stands up and protects his girlfriend against Elmore Allen and he hits him, and Elmore Allen falls back.”]