Promises and Lies
The man accused of holding a group of men captive in a northwest Houston "prison room" appeared before a criminal court Monday morning on two counts of causing serious bodily injury to the elderly.
Houston police arrived at 8646 Whitecastle Lane on Friday to find four men living in “deplorable conditions” inside a converted garage. According to KHOU Channel 11, a neighborhood resident contacted authorities after spotting a man at the window rubbing his stomach as if he was hungry. Inside the house, officers described what they called a "dungeon" — a bare locked room with no bathroom access.
Walter Renard Jones, 31, was taken into custody at the scene after the gentlemen claimed he had coerced them into living at the home in exchange for their monthly retirement benefits. He remains in a downtown Harris County jail on a $400,000 bond.
Following Jones' Monday court appearance, Harris County assistant district attorney Lynne Parsons spoke with reporters about William Greenwalt, the captive at the center of the two current charges.
"This particular victim was invited into the home for protection and shelter in exchange for his social security check," she explained. "We can't go into too many details, but he was extremely dehydrated and malnourished . . . We're continuing an investigation into all the allegations."
Court records detail that, in the last decade, Jones has faced charges for marijuana possession, theft and failure to register as a sex offender.
The northwest Houston home has been registered to a nonprofit corporation called Regina's Faith Ministries, according to the Houston Chronicle. The director of the organization, 57-year-old Regina Jones, is the suspect's grandmother.
Three mentally-disabled women and a caretaker also were discovered living in another part of the home, which apparently had been converted into a duplex. The women reportedly were not held captive.