ANGLETON — The state rested its case against Frank Seidule after some associates from his past offered perspective of his relationship with his former roommate, who he killed two years ago.
Lewis Watson, 36, died after 58-year-old Seidule shot him seven times on Nov. 7, 2017. Seidule admitted to the shooting, but pleaded not guilty on the grounds it was self-defense.
A Brazoria County jury will decide whether he is guilty of murder, punishable by up to life in prison.
Seidule has been free on bond since a couple weeks after his arrest on Oct. 19, 2018.
The accused murderer’s former stepdaughter testified she lived with Seidule for several years as a child and met Watson through her sister when she was a bit older. In 2017, she visited with them both at Seidule’s house, the woman said.
“They seemed close,” she said on the stand Thursday. “They seemed like friends.”
She described Watson as “easy-going, trustworthy, like family and hardworking.” She has known Seidule since she was 8 and knew he could and had been violent, she said.
Prosecutor Travis Townsend was called to the stand Thursday to testify about a stalking case he prosecuted against Watson. While Watson was in the Brazoria County jail, Seidule went there to ask if he could get him out of jail, Townsend said.
Seidule said it was tree-trimming season, he needed Watson to come work for his landscaping business and could offer Watson a place to stay, Townsend testified.
He did not know who Seidule was upon meeting him because his name was nowhere in the case file, which is unusual for visitors to the district attorney’s office, he said.
“It was odd, having an experience of a person who was not a family member of a defendant,” Townsend said. “He may be the only person I’ve ever dealt with that was not a family member or close friend that I knew of.”
This somewhat conflicts with what Seidule told Brazoria County Sheriff’s investigator Dominick Sanders in an interview at UTMB Health Angleton Danbury Campus the day of the shooting, according to a recording played Tuesday.
Seidule said Watson worked for him for a year or two after they met in 2003. Then the two met again, Watson assaulted him in 2010 and they parted ways, Seidule said in the recording. He said to reestablish their relationship most recently, Watson begged to come back and work for him.
After he got out of jail for the stalking incident, Seidule said, Watson came to work for him and had no other place to go. Watson got out of jail three months after Seidule came to Townsend’s office with his request, Townsend said.
Lisa Good, a friend of Seidule’s former girlfriend, Paula Cerda, testified with a recording she had made of Seidule about a year ago. Good started recording because Seidule was talking about planting heroin on her ex-husband to send him to jail and she did not want her ex-husband to end up accused of something he did not do, she said.
“It’ll be the same thing I did to Louie,” Seidule said in the recording.
After saying that, Good testified Seidule made a gun with his fingers and a “phew” sound.
The prosecution rested its case Thursday afternoon. The defense will begin calling witnesses at 9 a.m. today in the 239th District courtroom of Brazoria County courthouse.