RECOLLECTIONS OF MURDER

The following records were found inside on old ledger book that

had been discarded from the Panola County Courthouse

Submitted by Marylee W. Knight

 

 

THE FOLLOWING IS A RECORDED STATEMENT OF SCOTT ALAN LUCAS.  THIS STATEMENT IS BEING TAKEN BY LT. JOHN O’BRIEN AND LT. CHARLES LANDRUM AT THE LEON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTH COURTHOUSE (TALLAHASSEE FL) ON JULY THE 27TH, 1976 AT APPROXIMATELY 2:40 PM.  THIS STATEMENT IS BEING TAKEN IN REFERENCE TO A HOMICIDE CASE.  THE HOMICIDE BEING THE DEATH OF HOWARD GREER.  THE HOMICIDE OCCURRED IN PANOLA COUNTY TX ON OR ABOUT FEBRUARY THE 17TH 1976.

 

Q = Question

A = Answer by Scott Alan Lucas

 

Q:  Would you state your full name please?

 

A:  Scott Alan Lucas

 

Q:  Your age?

 

A:  21 years old

 

Q:  And your address?

 

A:  1342 ½ Linda Ann Drive

 

Q:  Scott, before we begin I want to advise you of your rights.  You have the right to remain silent.  Anything that you say can be used against you in a court of law.  You have the right to an attorney and have an attorney present with you.  If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you by the State of Florida.  If you decide to talk to us, at anytime that you wish, you can stop talking to us.  You have the right to use the telephone to call an attorney of your choice or the Public Defender.  Do you understand your rights?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Do you want to talk to us now?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Okay do you want to talk to us without an attorney present?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Have you been promised anything by anyone?

 

A:  Yes, sir.  I was promised immunity from prosecution by Texas Ranger Glen Elliott.

 

Q:  He promised you that on the phone for a statement in this case.  Is that correct?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Have you been threatened in any way?

 

A:  No, sir.

 

Q:  You have not been threatened to give this statement?

 

A:  No, sir.

 

Q:  Alright, as you are aware, on or about the 17th of February of 1976, a white male by the name of Howard Greer was killed in Texas, somewhere in or about Panola County.  Ah, you have indicated to me that you have some knowledge of this case.  Ah, were you there when this subject was killed?

 

A:  Yes, sir.  I was.

 

Q:  Would you start at the beginning in your own words and tell me what led up to the death of Howard Greer, who killed him, how it was planned?

 

A:  Well, ah, Randi Joiner and Mitchell Weiner sat down and tried to figure out a scheme to get up enough money to get Johnny Joiner out of jail because he was on an appeal bond.

 

Q:  Is this the same Johnny Joiner who lives at 1325 Linda Ann Drive?

 

A:  Yes, sir.  It is.

 

Q:  Is Randi Joiner his wife?

 

A:  Yes, sir.  She is.

 

Q:  Is Mitchell Weiner an older white male approximately 50 to 55 years old with balding, dark hair?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Okay, please continue.

 

A:  And they came up with the scheme that Mitchell had a life insurance policy on a man named Howard Greer and that he could collect ninety-six hundred dollars if he would go kill him.  So Randi Joiner and Mitchell Weiner asked me, Scott Alan Lucas, to go along and my job was to drive up there and get the man out of the house.  And doing so we went, we drove down along the Gulf coast and we stopped in Louisiana in Howard Greer’s mother’s hometown.  And Mitchell Weiner then telephoned her and she told Mitch where Howard was.  Mitch had told her that he was a friend of Howard’s and was trying to find him ‘cause he needed him to go to work.  And so we proceeded on to Texas.  And we went, we found the boy’s house.  And we went up there.  We were driving a blue ’75, a light blue ’75, I believe it was a Chevy van.  And we parked down the street from the boy’s house, and I went in and I got him and told him the story that I picked up a friend of his hitch hiking and that he had told me that Howard Greer needed work and I was available to help him get this work.  Then he said something about a bike and I said that I had a ’72 black Harley for sale, would he like to see it.  He said that  he would.  And so we left the boy’s sister and brother-in-law there at the house and we proceeded out of town.  I believe it was north and we went to another little town.  And Mitchell Weiner was hiding in the back of the van.  When we got to this other little town, Mitch popped out of the back and stuck the gut to Howard Greer’s head and told him not to move.  Right away Howard knew what was going on.  And so Mitch, after we came to a real secluded road outside this other town he said, “Stop over because I have to use the restroom.”  And so I did.  Then when the boy got out of the van he started to run and Mitchell Weiner shot at him.  He had a .32 caliber and a .22 caliber pistol and he shot at him two or three times and missed.  And then we proceeded down the road to catch him.  I tackled the boy and we went down in the ditch.  Mitch drove up in the van and said, “Move aside.”  So I moved aside and Mitchell shot him eight times, I believe, with both pistols.  We got back in the van and we left.  We went, we drove straight back to Tallahassee where we changed cars and then went to South Carolina so could have an alibi.

 

Q:  Okay, what was the route that you took from Tallahassee to Louisiana?

 

A:  I don’t really know sir.  All I know is we drove down, straight down the coast until we got to Louisiana.  We went across and we took I-10, I know, but I can’t say for sure where.  We did go through Pensacola and we did go 90.  I remember that for sure.

 

Q:  Do you remember the town in Texas, I mean in Louisiana that you stopped in to call.

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.

 

Q:  Alright…

 

A:  It’s the town Howard Greer’s mother lived in.

 

Q:  Okay and Mitchell had told you that he had an insurance  policy on Howard Greer.  Is that correct?

 

A:  Yes, sir.  He said he had a life insurance policy on his father and when his father died it was passed on to Howard.

 

Q:  Did Mitchell ever talk to you about his relationship with Howard Greer’s father?

 

A:  No, sir, he didn’t.

 

Q:  Alright, how did Mitchell go about talking to Howard Greer’s mother?

 

A:  He said that he was a friend that was calling to find Howard because he was needing Howard to go to work.  And I guess at that time Howard was working at a poultry farm of some kind and he had gone to live with his sister and brother-in-law.  And she told us, well, she told Mitchell where he was.

 

Q:  Was it a long distance phone call that Mitchell made or was it, was he right in the town that Howard Greer’s mother..

 

A:  It was right in the town.  He said this was the place.

 

Q:  Did you drive straight through to Nacogdoches, Texas then?

 

A:  Yes, sir, we did.

 

Q:  What route did you take from Louisiana to Nacogdoches?

 

A:  I know we went across the Mississippi bridge, across the Mississippi River anyhow.

 

Q:  Where at?

 

A:  I really don’t know the place.

 

Q:  Well, continur.

 

A:  And I really don’t recall the route it was so long ago.  I know we went through Lufkins, Texas on the way.  We took, if I had a map I could probably show you.

 

Q:  Alright now, when you arrived in Nacogdoches, what did you do then?

 

A:  We drove around town until we found the house.   Mitchell had the address and we just drove around town until we found the house.  It was already approximately 10:00, 10:30 at night.  And we drove around town making plans.  When we did, we parked down the street from their house and then I went in there.  I talked to him and he came out with me.

 

Q:  What time did you go in there?

 

A:  It was about ten or ten-thirty at night.

 

Q:  It was dark then when you went in?

 

A:  Yes, it was.

 

Q:  What did you tell Howard about why you wanted him to come with you?

 

A:  Well, he happened to mention something that was, he was interested in buying a motorcycle and I told him that, you know, if he worked for me that I had one for sale and he could just pay me off on payments.  And would he like to see the bike.  I said that I lived in Lufkin, which was, I guess thirteen or fourteen miles away… Lufkin, Texas.  And he said, “Yeah,” he’d like to come and see it.  So that’s how he came in the van.  He came outside with me.

 

Q:  Did you park the van right in front of the house?

 

A:  No, sir… He parked it down the street going the other way.

 

Q:  Did you talk to anybody in the house while you were there?

 

A:  Yes sir.  I talked to his sister and brother-in-law.

 

Q:  What did you talk to them about?  Do you remember?

 

A:  We just kinda chit-chatted and we were talking about Harleys and work and what kind of work I was into.  I told them I was a general contractor and I was painting barns and silos, building barns and things like this.

 

Q:  What was Howard doing all this time?

 

A:  He was upstairs getting changed.  He said he had to go change clothes.

 

Q:  Did you at any time see Howard with a gun?

 

A:  N, sir, I didn’t.

 

Q:  Okay, when you and Howard went odwn and got in the van, continue on from there?

 

A:  We went down and got in the van and I told him that I had to go the other way a little bit outside of town because I wanted to go buy some marijuana from a friend that lived down the road.  He said that was fine.  In the meantime we smoked a couple of joints and he go high and I got high.  He didn’t really think about we were going the wrong way to Lufkin.  About that time Mitch Weiner popped out of the back and stuck a gun to Howard Greer’s head and told him not to move.  Right then Howard knew who he was and what was going on.

 

Q:  Howard acted as if he knew Mitchell?

 

A:  Yeah.

 

Q:  Did Howard say anything?

 

A:  Yeah.

 

Q:  What did he say?

 

  1. He said what are you, what is this, are you kidnapping me?  And he was in hysterics. He knew what was going on right then.

 

Q:  Did he make any mention of anything that you didn’t understand.  I mean did he talk about anything to Mitch that you weren’t quite aware of what was going on?

 

A:  Yes, he said something about “I’ll get the money to pay you somehow” and I guess it was some kind of a policy that he was making payments to Mitch on.  He had done it for a couple of years.  He just kept saying, “I’ll get the money somehow”.

 

Q:  Was any mention of Mitch’s wife , Sherry made?

 

A:  No, sir.

 

Q:  Do you know if Howard Greer knew Sherry?

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.

 

Q:  Okay, just continue on from there now.  You’re in the van and y’all were driving.

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  And Howard was in the right front seat?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  And Mitchell had hidden in the back of the van and popped up and put a gun to Howard’s head?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Okay continue from there.

 

A:  Well, we drove on through a little town.  I guess we drove about thirty miles.  And Mitch said to stop because he had to use the telephone.  As so we all got out of the van.  And Mitch shot at him a couple of times and we jumped in the van and he was running down the road.  It was, I know it, I remember it was next to a swampy like area with a small river going through it.  And I tackled him down the road and another car was coming, so me and Howard was wrestling in the ditch.  And so Mitch came back then and told me to move away from him and then he proceeded to shoot him, sever or eight times with a .32 caliver and a .22 caliber pistol.  And then we got in the van and left.

 

Q:  Did he die right away?

 

A:  I don’t know sir.  We didn’t stop ot see.  We didn’t know if he was dead for a long time.

 

Q:  Did you move the body?

 

A:  No, sir.

 

Q:  You didn’t touch him or anything.  You just backed away and Mitchell shot him.

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Did you see Mitchell Weiner shoot Howard Greer?

 

A:  Yes, sir, I did.

 

Q:  Was it at night?

 

A:  Yes sir, it was about twelve o’clock, eleven-thirty or twelve o’clock.

 

Q:  Was it a clear night?

 

A:  Yes, I’d say it was pretty clear.  I know there was a farm house about a hundred yards down the road.  I’m sure they would have heard the shots.  That’s why I wanted to just leave, you know.  Mitch said, “No, we can’t stop now.”

 

Q:  Did Howard say anything just before Mitchell shot him?

 

A:  Yeah, he said, “Please don’t kill me,” and then Mitch shot him.

 

Q:  What did Mitch say about the shooting?

 

A:  He said, Well, we got it done.”  He said, “Now all we gotta do is wait for about another week and collect the money.”

 

Q:  Did Mitchell show any signs of remorse over killing him?

 

A:  No, sir, he didn’t.

 

Q:  Did he show any kind of emotion over killing him?

 

A:  I think he was glad to have it over with, but he didn’t show any pains about it at all.

 

Q:  Okay, after the murder, did you drive straight back to Tallahassee?

 

A:  Yes, sir, we did.  Well, we stopped at a truck stop after we threw the guns off in the Mississippi River, off a bridge in the Mississippi River, the guns and my clothes, and then after that we drove straight back.

 

 

Q:  Why did you throw your clothes away?

 

A:  We figured maybe there would be mud from the same place or something that would give us away, so I threw my clothes off the bridge too.

 

Q:  What kind of clothes were they?

 

A:  They were patched blue jeans and a dark colored button up shirt.

 

Q:  Where were the patches on the blue jeans?

 

A:  The patches were across the knees, up across the middle leg and I had some in the back.

 

Q:  Was there a patch on the crotch of the blue jeans.

 

A:  Yes there was.  They were bright colored patches.

 

Q:  Do you remember what road the bridge was on that you threw the guns out?

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.

 

Q:  Would you be able to show me on a map the route that you took?

 

A:  I believe I could.  I could try.

 

Q:  Okay, when you came back to Tallahassee, where di you go?

 

A:  We went straight to Mitch’s apartment, well, no we didn’t go to Mitch’s apartment except for he, he had to get some more clothes.  Bur, first we went and we took the van back to the buy that Mitch borrowed it from and the guy was using Mitch’s car at the same time, which was a ’73 red Maverick.  We traded the cars and then Mitch and I left to go to South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

 

Q:  Where did the guy live that owned the van?

 

A:  He lived in Killearn Estates.  He was a member of a band that was playing at the Co-Ed Whop at the time.

 

Q:  Did he live in a house in Killearn, or did he live at the apartments?

 

A:  He lived at a house.

 

Q:  Alright, did you leave immediately with Mitch in the red car for South Carolina?

 

A:  Yes, we did.

 

Q:  Where di you go in South Carolina?

 

A:  We stayed in a motel, but we went out to his house and his sister was out there working on the house, and we went to his ex-wife’s house and saw his daughters.  We ate supper out there and he went to see a doctor friend of his and a lawyer friend of his and then we stayed at the motel for two nights.  And the next day we left and came back to Tallahassee.

 

Q:  And you did this in order to have an alibi?

 

A:  Yes, sir.

 

Q:  Do you remember the name of the motel you stayed in in Colunbia?

 

A:  I believe it was a Day’s Inn.

 

Q:  A Day’s Inn in Columbia, South Carolinea?

 

A:  I believe that was it.  I know it was off the interstate, right off it.

 

Q:  Alright, well, what happened when you came back to Tallahassee?

 

A:  He had a friend of his with him that he picked up in Augusta, Georgia.  He was an old man.  I don’t really remember his name and Mitch just let on to him like I was a hitch hiker and they drove.  They dropped me off at Linda Ann Drive and I just went on home and went to sleep.

 

Q:  Was this on or around the 17th of February, 1976?

 

A:  About that time.  I was a long time.  I don’t remember the exact dates.

 

Q:  Has Mitch mentioned the murder to you since?

 

A:  Yes, sir, he has.  He came over to the house on three or four occasions and asked if I had heard anything or anybody had asked me anything about it.

 

Q:  Did he ever pay you any money for this?

 

A:  No, sir, he didn’t.

 

Q:  Did you ever ask him about the money?

 

A:  Yes, sir, I did.  I asked him if the insurance policy had come through yet and he said, “No.”  He said, “I don’t know what they’re doing.  They’re running me around the bush.”  But he said, “I haven’t got the money yet.”  Shortly after that he left.

 

Q:  Do you know where he is now?

 

A:  I believe he’d probably be at, in Columbia, South Carolina, which is his home.

 

Q:  Is there anything else that you can tell me at this time that you haven’t told me that might be helpful to us?

 

A:  I believe that’s about everything sir.

 

Q:  Do you know what kind of .32 caliber gun it was?  Was it a revolver or a pistol?

 

A:  It was a pistol, or it was a snub nose.

 

Q:  It has the round revolving cylinder in it?

 

A:  Yes.

 

Q:  Was it chrome plated or blue steel?

 

A:  It was chrome.

 

Q:  Do you know the make of it?

 

A:  No sir, I don’t.  I never held the gun.

 

Q:  What about the .22?

 

A:  It was blue plated as far as I can remember.

 

Q:  was it a revolver?

 

A:  Yes, it was the same kind.

 

Q:  It was a revolver?

 

A:  Yes.

 

Q:  Do you where Mitchell got the gun?

 

A:  One was his, I know, but the other one he borrowed from somebody.

 

Q:  Do you know who?

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.

 

Q:  Is there anything else that you can tell me about this particular case?

 

A:  I believe that’s it.

 

Q:  You made reference to that van having been used by “Frenchie”?

 

A:  Yes, sir, a George Novant.

 

Q:  Do you remember, was that after Howard Greer’s murder?

 

A:  Yes, sir, it was.

 

Q:  Did anything else occur with that van?  Were there any other crimes committed with it?

 

A:  Yes sir.  They committed a murder in South Florida in it.  A friend of Frenchie’s ripped Frenchie off for some drugs and Fenchie and George went down to kill him.  They were gone for five to seven days and everybody was worried and then they came back.  Frenchie told me the job was done and they had to lay low for a little while because it got hot.

 

Q:  Did Frenchie know anything about Howard Greer’s murder?

 

A:  Yes, sir, I believe he did.

 

Q:  Who told him?

 

A:  I believe Randi did, and I believe I told him a little.

 

Q:  Who else knows about Howard Greer’s murder?

 

A:  Johnny Joiner doesn’t.  And, well, the people that were living at 1325 Linda Ann Drive, Vicki Haley and Steve Garner, Lance Green and that’s about it.  I know I didn’t tell anybody else unless they did.

 

Q:  Were you worried about getting caught?

 

A:  Yes, sir, I was.

 

Q:  How long ago was it that Frenchie and, you say, George Novak went and did that job in south Florida?  The homicide?

 

A:  It was three to four weeks after I got back, I saw the van drive down the drive and I kinda flipped out when I saw who was in it and where they were going.  I knew what they were going to do.

 

Q:  How did you know?

 

A:  Because Frenchie told me that he was going to take care of that business that he told me about.

 

Q:  Do you know the name of the person who owned the van?

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.  I never did hear the name.

 

Q:  Could you recognize him?

 

A:  I could recognize him, yes, I saw him.

 

Q:  What did he look like?

 

A:  He was about five foot ten or eleven and he had dark brown hair, parted down the middle.  It was real full.  And he had a mustache and he was kinda heavy set.  I guess he would be about twenty-four, twenty kifve years old.

 

Q:  Do you know if he is still in town?

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.

 

Q:  Do you remember the name of the band?

 

A:  No, sir, I don’t.  I know they were playing at the Co-Ed Whop are the time.  The one on West Tennessee.

 

Q:  Did that van have a Leon County tag on it?

 

A:  No, it had a West Palm Beach Tag.  I know it was a West Palm Beach because Mitch mentioned it, that they wouldn’t know that we’d done it because it was from south Florida.

 

Q:  Okay Scott, is there anything else that you can tell me about this at this time?

 

A:  I don’t believe there is sir.

 

Q:  Lt. Landrum, would you like to ask any questions?

 

Lt. Landrum:  No, I don’t think so.

 

Lt. O’Brien:  What time is it?

 

Lt. Landrum:  3:05 pm

 

This statement is concluded at 3:05 pm on July the 27th, 1976 at the Leon County Sheriff’s Department, County Courthouse, Tallahassee, Florida.  Taking this statement was Lt. John O’Brien and Lt. Charles Landrum.

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

Attached Death Certificate issued by W.D. Bush, Justice of the Peace, Carthage TX.

 

Name of the deceased:  Howard Bernard Greer, Jr., White, Male, Date of birth: 08-15-1952, Date of death:  Probably 02-19-1976.  Body seen only after it was discovered on 02-24-1976.  Father:  Howard B. Greer, Sr.,  Mother:  Helen McNeese.

 

Place of Death:  Panola County TX, Found dead in a bar ditch on Old Hwy 59 North, 10 miles north of Carthage.

 

Cause of death:  Gun shot wounds in neck, chest and arms.

 

Deceased was buried in Kilgore Cemetery, Kilgore TX on 02-26-76, Rader Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

Handwritten inquest notes of W.D. Bush, Justice of the Peace:

 

Feb 24, 1976, about 7:45 pm, the Dispatcher from the Sheriff’s Office, said Sheriff Johnnie Spradley, radioed in and advised that a body had been found on the Old Hwy 59, north of Carthage, in a bar ditch in the Sabine River bottom.

 

I asked and ordered the body to be brought to the Funeral Home where he was undressed and cleaned up.  Five holes were found in the body, three of the bullets removed from the body by Don Lipsey.

 

This was a W/M, wearing about 6” or 8” top boots with laced string, old faded almost white blue jeans, the shirt was brown or blue, it was so soiled it was hard to tell original color.  Long hair and a mustache.

 

We moved from funeral home to Sheriff’s Office in the Courthouse.  After 2 or 3 hours of going over his belongings, by Sheriff Spradley and his department, was identified as Howard Bernard Greer, age 23, of Bridge City, La., but living in Nacogdoches at this time.

 

(Drawing accompanying the inquest notes indicates that Greer had received five gun shot wounds on the front of his body.  It was also noted that there were two slugs lodged under the skin on the front of the body.  It is not noted if these slugs had entered from the back of the body.)

Back to Main Page