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Body Found in Shallow Grave Confirmed as Son of Former Texas Governor Bill Clements

Body Found in Shallow Grave Confirmed as Son of Texas Ex-Governor Bill Clements
Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements, February 1987. (AP Photo/David Breslauer, File) AP Photo/David Breslauer

ATHENS, Texas (CBS/AP) The search for the missing son of former Texas governor Bill Clements ended with a wild shootout involving an AK-47-wielding landowner, and the discovery of the missing man's body in a shallow grave on the gunman's property, authorities said.

B. Gill Clements, 69, was reported missing from his ranch outside of Athens, Texas, about 75 miles south of Dallas, at about 10 p.m. Oct. 21. Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said law officers from throughout the area, including prison personnel with search dogs, searched Clements' property throughout the night.

The search resumed the next day but was cut short when searchers were confronted by Clements' neighbor, Howard Granger, bearing an AK-47, according to The Dallas Morning News.

"He told us to get off his property or he would kill us all," Nutt said Saturday.

Authorities fell back, according to Nutt, got a search warrant and came back with a SWAT team and an armored car. Granger responded by opening fire on the vehicle, apparently concentrating on the windows, Nutt told the paper.

Granger was shot dead during the exchange and officers searched his property and found a body buried in a shallow grave behind his house. It was positively identified as Clements Monday.

Authorities were still investigating a possible motive, but Nutt said Clements complained when Granger shot across a fence at a tree on his property.

"Mr. Clements did have some type of conversation with him about that. I don't know of what nature," Nutt said.

Neighbors say that Granger was known to walk his property with the AK-47 and threaten anyone who came near.

"Everywhere you saw Granger, you saw him with that gun on him," neighbor John Laster said. "It was like he liked to intimidate people."

A memorial for Clements is planned for Wednesday in Dallas. He is survived by his father and stepmother, former first lady Rita Clements, his wife of 47 years, Pat, his three children and seven grandchildren.

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