Texas vigilante suspected of posing online as minor arrested over death of convicted child predator

A Texas man has been charged with murder after he allegedly posed online as a minor, arranged a meet-up with a convicted child sex offender, and shot him dead because he believes police aren’t doing enough to keep pedophiles behind bars.

According to the Houston police department, Sean Connery Showers, 37, was “walking along the roadway when a vehicle of unknown make and model approached him. Someone inside the vehicle then shot Showers.”

In 2009, Showers, then 23, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.

According to the FBI, “A forensic analysis conducted on [Showers’] computer revealed 94 images containing child pornography and 116 videos containing child pornography. In a sampling, there were images involving prepubescent children under 12 years old, images involving oral sex and images involving penetration, images with adults present and videos involving bondage.”

For his crime, Showers was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was required to register as a lifelong sex offender, ABC 13 reports. In 2019, he received a two-year prison sentence for failure to comply as a sex offender.

After further investigation, Houston police identified James Lewis Spencer III, 22, as Showers’ suspected killer.

“On Wednesday (January 31), Spencer was arrested by officers with the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force without incident,” according to Houston police. “Spencer admitted to his role in the incident and was booked into the Harris County Jail.”

“Officers responded to a report of an unresponsive male lying in a ditch at the above address,” HPD Homicide Division Detectives W. Huff and J. Nguyen reported. “Houston Fire Department paramedics arrived and pronounced the victim, later identified as Mr. Showers, deceased. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.”

Showers’ phone was discovered underneath his body, which is how investigators learned that he was planning to meet up with someone at Montie Beach Park, according to ABC 13.

“(Spencer and Showers) were communicating using a social media app,” Rehman Merchant, the chief prosecutor for the 179th District Court, said. “The communications were sexual in nature. The officers believe that they were meeting up at this park to engage in sexual activity.”

Spencer was posing as a minor in a Kik app conversation with Showers, Merchant said.

“There are some communications on the phones or between the two about (Showers’) dealings or past interactions with children or underage individuals,” he said.

Once investigators learned of Spencer’s identity, they spoke to his girlfriend, who recalled that the suspected killer mentioned pedophiles around the time of the murder.

Showers’ past pedophilia does not excuse vigilantism, Merchant said.

“Look, regardless of the likability of the victim, we’re a nation of laws,” he said. “No one gets to be judge, jury, and executioner depending on how they feel.”

According to his bail order, Spencer wanted to “rob and harm” pedophiles.

“(A) third party states (Spencer) told them he believed police were not doing enough to keep pedophiles incarcerated and (Spencer) wanted to rob and harm those type of men because they would do bad things to little children and other people and he knew how to track them by an app on the phone,” it reads. “A month later, defendant made the same comment that ‘if the cops were not going to do anything, maybe he should kill them himself.'”

Records reveal that Spencer’s phone was tracked to and from the murder scene. He admitted that he’d visited the scene “a few times.”

“Based on the conversation he had with the girlfriend, that sort of comment he had made ‘pedophiles’ in the plural,” Merchant said. “As of now, we’re still investigating that.”

Spencer’s bond was set at $250,000. If released, he will have to stay on house arrest.

He is due back in court on Feb. 5.

Meanwhile, ABC 13 reports, “Investigators are working to retrieve records from his phone to determine if he is connected to any other cases.”

“To be frank, this is a planned execution,” Merchant said. “I think he targeted an individual, he set up a meet, knew where he was going to be, and then discharged a weapon multiple times and then just went back home like nothing happened.”

On X, many are applauding Spencer’s actions.

“Looks like the right prescription to me,” said one user.

“Good man,” praised another.

“Drop the charges!” demanded a third.

“The guy has a 250K bond,” noted one user. “I wonder if they do GoFundMe.”

Melissa Fine

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