Investigators in the alleged murder of a 40-year-old Anderson County man continue to attempt to piece together the events leading up to last week’s fatal shooting.

Paul Rohne, 40, was found deceased inside his residence in the 300 block of CR 459, north of Montalba, during the wee morning hours of Jan. 27 after the man who shot him called 9-1-1 to report the incident, according to authorities.

Arrested and charged with murder in connection with Rohne’s death was 55-year-old Robert Lynn Pridgen of Palestine.

Pridgen, a retired Texas Department of Criminal Justice maintenance employee, was Rohne’s landlord, authorities have said. The accused man has no previous criminal record, according to authorities.

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Warrick, the case’s lead investigator, interviewed a handful of Rohne’s family members Wednesday.

“He (Warrick) did talk to several family members and we’re continuing that,” Taylor said Thursday. “We’ve still got people to interview. We’re still preparing evidence to send to the lab.”

The sheriff said investigators have gleaned that it was “not unusual” for Pridgen and Rohne to “hang out together.”

Pridgen has declined to speak to authorities, making the investigation even more difficult since no other persons were believed to be at the residence at the time of the shooting.

On the day of his arrest. Pridgen “muttered” a claim of self-defense, according to the sheriff.

On Thursday, Taylor told the Herald-Press that Pridgen fired a single blast from a 12-gauge shotgun to kill Rohne.

“He (Pridgen) was in fairly close proximity to the victim,” Taylor said.

Taylor has said that Rohne was positioned on a love seat when authorities arrived at the residence after the shooting.

“He was laid over on his right side on the love seat,” the sheriff stated.

When asked if the victim may have been asleep at the time of the shooting, Taylor indicated he was uncertain.

“Anything is possible,” the sheriff said.

Authorities have said nothing inside the residence suggested a struggle occurred before the shooting. Also, neither the accused man or victim had any apparent external injuries.

Taylor has said Pridgen had been consuming alcohol prior to the shooting, but authorities did not seek a blood sample from the accused man.

Pridgen was released from the Anderson County Jail on Jan. 28 after posting a $100,000 bond set by Anderson County Justice of the Peace James Westley.

The sheriff said it was his understanding that Pridgen has hired a private attorney based in Tyler.

In time, authorities hope to find more answers in the case.

“Since we already have him charged and know who the shooter is,” Taylor said, “it’s just piecing why together.”


Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at

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