Houston Cold Case

July 25, 2016

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Houston Cold Case

A cinematic cold case dripping nuance and irony has been unfolding in Houston and in Ohio for a month.

Long ago in the golden age of disco, on November 3, 1979, at 2:30 in the morning in the parking lot of a then famous nightclub near the Astrodome called the Dome Shadows, a couple of black men sitting in a black and yellow Mercury got into an argument with one of the waitresses in the parking lot. There seems to have been more to the story than is now remembered. One of the two men in the car went by “Stash.” Stash, according to police, got out of the car and pulled a gun.

The waitress was married to a 23-year-old man named Stephan Tramble Chambers, who was with her as she argued with the men in the bumble bee Mercury. The married couple was joined by her brother, 25-year-old Charles Eugene Philleo. Suddenly, allegedly, Stash started shooting. He shot Philleo in the face. Philleo survived and died of natural causes in 1998. The gunman shot Stephan Chambers. Chambers was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Cold Case

Chambers father was Donald Eugene “Mother” Chambers, a Marine Vietnam veteran who had been convicted of murdering two entrepreneurs in El Paso. According to police, the two entrepreneurs, Marley Leon and Preston LeRay Tarver, had sold Donald Chambers baking powder and told him it was methamphetamine. The older Chambers was already famous and is still remembered for having founded the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

After the shooting, Leon “Stash” Dudley (inset above) walked to a corner, got on a city bus and disappeared. The other man in the car, who has never been publically identified, told police Stash did it and Dudley was charged with murder on November 7. Dudley’s public defender promised to have Dudley turn himself in as soon as he learned of the charges against and bail was set at $10,000. On February 21, 1980 Dudley officially became a fugitive.


Dudley, is now 69-years-old and he finally turned himself in on June 24 this year. The United States Marshals tracked Dudley to an address in Euclid, Ohio, northeast of Cleveland. He wasn’t home when the law came for him so he went down to the station to turn himself in.

He was extradited back to Houston and he was granted bail in the amount of $30,000 at a hearing on July 7. He was allowed to return to Euclid where he remains on supervised release.

Dudley is due back in court in Houston on September 8.

Dudley’s attorney, Catherine T. Samaan, told Dane Schiller of the Houston Chronicle, “This is someone that has unfortunately been arrested for something he truly didn’t do. He has been misidentified.”


10 Responses to “Houston Cold Case”

  1. Paladin Says:

    Must be a really slow day on the wire.


  2. Meh Says:

    The moral of the story is simple.

    Avoid moolies.

  3. R&R Says:

    This is an interesting post. Dudley was screwed any which way he turned; to turn yourself in and potentially be bonded out for trial and risk being convicted for murder. He would be a likely target either in Houston on bond or in TxDoCJ after a conviction. He had nowhere to run. And the evidence against him is the classic “he said – he said” crap that ensures you never know the truth.

    I give the guy credit for being smart enough to figure that out and successfully disappear. Classic dead man walking. And it may not be over.


  4. GasTankGambler Says:

    More agent provocateur bs to me. Just my humble opinion.

  5. IronRider Says:

    I will give the guy credit he managed to stay under the radar for almost 37 years ad in that time looks like he stayed out of trouble.

    As R&R stated there is a he said she said element to this but after 37 years I dont see how this case will be smooth sailing for the prosecution, you will have people who worked on the case that are going to have to go by recollection and notes on the details of the case, witnesses who are going to be foggy on some details (if they can find them, after all this is a long time ago ) and I would be surprised if the evidence is still around and surely the techniques used to gather it will be called into question.

    My guess is the prosecution will try for a plea deal, because I would bet they are not going to want to try this one

  6. Sieg Says:

    Why do I have a funny feeling that this guy may not get a lot older in a Texas joint?!


  7. Rocco151 Says:

    Once again, AR has pointed out a real life situation that begs a lively discussion of law versus order ! If a man has “stayed under the radar” for 37 years committing no act that would have the authorities questioning his actions (having his jacket pulled)should he be released of the burden of looking over his shoulder every day ? As is the case with many great writers, the story is just the start of the discussion !

  8. Neuro Says:

    Damn, this is such an interesting item from the past. Who knew this story ? Probably only a handful of guys in Houston. It sure seems like strange timing that the US Marshals let this guy lie on the lam until the Texas Rocker case breaks, then they suddenly find Stash Dudley. This one is fascinating an several levels. Thanks Rebel.

  9. Lost Says:

    Anyone think about the family that lost there son or brother. Of the 23 year old guy that got killed

  10. Neuro Says:

    Yes Lost, that is the main point of the story, that he was the son of Don and Martha Chambers, brother of Donna. The family is most certainly thought of. The second shooting victim was his brother in law.

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