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Central Texas man indicted in death of shooting victim found in shallow grave

Palmer Grant Contreras, 36, of Temple, was named in an indictment charging murder as a repeat...
Palmer Grant Contreras, 36, of Temple, was named in an indictment charging murder as a repeat offender.(Jail photo)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 5:28 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – Bell County grand jurors returned a murder indictment Wednesday in the death of a Temple man whose body was found in a shallow grave more than three months after he was reported missing.

Palmer Grant Contreras, 36, of Temple, was named in the indictment, which charges murder as a repeat offender.

He’s been held in the Bell County Jail since May 31, 2019, charged originally with tampering with evidence and possession of child pornography.

He was served with a murder warrant at the jail in late December.

The charge stems from the shooting death of Tommy Herbert, who was reported missing on May 29, 2019.

His body was found on Sept. 12, 2019 in a shallow grave in Killeen.

According to an affidavit submitted for Contreras’ arrest in May 2019, a woman told investigators she heard Contreras call a man on May 26, 2019 whom he asked to help get rid of Herbert’s body.

A second woman named in the affidavit told a Temple police detective that when she spoke to Contreras on the May 28, 2019, he told her he had killed Herbert, dumped his body and needed helping hiding the man’s truck.

She also said she saw Contreras leave in his truck and saw another man get into Herbert’s truck and drive away, the affidavit says.

Later that day (May 28) “she observed Tommy’s black pickup truck on I-35 near Temple High School,” the document said.

Contreras is held in lieu of bonds totaling $1.210,000 million, according to online jail records.

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