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.
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.”