Tyrone Sommers second person convicted in Allen Plumbing killing

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Robert Allen's family and friends pray outside the west courtroom at the Grayson County Courthouse Tuesday as the trial man accused of killing Allen got underway.


A little after 5 p.m. Friday, jurors sentenced Sommers to 75 years on the conspiracy to commit murder charge, 40 years on the tampering with evidence charge and 25 years on the felon in possession of a firearm charge. He will have to serve at least 30 years before he is eligible for parole and all of the sentences will run concurrently.


Just after 1 p.m. jurors in the 15th State District Court Friday afternoon convicted Tyrone Sommers in the Oct. 31, 2017 shooting death of Robert Allen in Denison. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence for throwing the gun used in the shooting in Lake Texoma.

They were expected consider punishment evidence Friday afternoon. 

Jurors in the 15th State District Court heard closing arguments Friday morning in the state’s case against Tyrone Sommers in the Oct. 31,2017 shooting death of Robert Allen in Denison.

The jury started to deliberate at 10:45 a.m.

Sommers is the second person to be tried in the killing and faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence.

Tyrone Sommers

In April, Timothy Barnum was convicted of murder in the case and was sentenced to life in prison. This week, Grayson County First Assistant District Attorney Kerye Ashmore and Assistant DA Nathan Young have presented witnesses that they say prove that Sommers conspired with Barnum in Allen’s death.

The state contends that Barnum wanted Allen dead but because of their history of family disagreements over Barnum’s treatment of Allen’s daughter and the child she shared with Barnum, he knew he would be a suspect if Allen were killed. Prosecutors said Barnum asked his father to kill Allen, and when that failed, he asked his second cousin Sommers.

Timothy Barnum

In his closing argument Friday, Ashmore reminded jurors that after Allen’s death, Sommers ended up with a car and a house that once belonged to Barnum. Ashmore reminded them of phone records and testimony he said proved Sommer was in the area around Allen Plumbing in Denison on the night Allen was killed. Ashmore said while Sommers initially denied knowing anything about the killing, he eventually admitted to being with Barnum on the night of the killing and to getting rid of the gun police say was used in the shooting.

The prosecutor asked the jury to consider why if Sommers had nothing to do with the killing would he lie to police for so long, and what did he do to earn the car and the house?

Sommers’ defense attorney Jeromie Oney told the jury none of the evidence presented in the four-day trial proved beyond a reasonable doubt that his client took part in a conspiracy to kill Robert Allen. He said the state has already convicted the person who had the most motive to kill Allen.

Oney said if jurors looked closely enough there were problems with all of the testimony the prosecution says point at Sommers’ guilt in the case. He urged them not “think or guess” his client into prison if the prosecution didn’t meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The main testimony against his client, Oney said came from Tim Barnum’s dad who had plenty of reason to lie whether it was to protect himself from a perjury charge or Tim Barnum from the murder charge.

For more on the Tim Barnum's trial in the Allen Plumbing killing, https://www.heralddemocrat.com/story/news/2021/04/12/barnum-found-guilty-2017-shooting-death-robert-allen/7195045002/