Witness Recalls Odessa Murder 19 Years Later

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It's been nearly 19 years since police say 52-year-old Leroy Alaniz murdered a man at the Party House Lounge in Odessa.  Alaniz was arrested this week and charged with capital murder in the cold case.

Alaniz is accused of being part of a duo of men who robbed the bar back in 1991 with a baseball bat and rifle.

Witnesses who saw the alleged crime happen have been trying to forget the horrible memory of two men in ski masks and trench-coats, taking four people prisoner and killing one of them in the process.

"I regret, I had a double barrel shot gun, fully loaded, laying in the front seat of my pickup.   I wish I had that, that night," Bar Owner, Lonnie Adams, said.

Adams said it's hard to talk about that night in 1991 when 44-year-old Larry Willsey was beaten in the armed robbery.

"There's no sense in just killing a man for no reason. Because you want the keys to his pickup, that's not a reason to kill a person," Adams said.

Adams said he walked into the bar just after 9p.m., where he found two armed, masked robbers pointing their gun at two patrons and a waitress, who were all laying on the ground.  When the gunmen saw Adams, he says they made him lay on the ground too.

During this time, Adams says the men were brutally beating Willsey, trying to steal the keys to his car.

"There was not anything you could do when you're lying there with a gun stuck in the back of your head," Adams said.

Adams said the robbers then gathered everyone up, and hustled them into a storage room in the back of the bar, and then shot a hole in the door.     

The two masked men, allegedly then took off in Willsey's car. Adams said the robbers couldn't have pocketed more than $75.00 from the cash register and tip jars. 
"You feel so helpless, you've got three people in here, depending on you.   They all know you're the owner and you're supposed to do something, well, there ain't a thing you can do when you've got a gun at the back of your head," Adams said.

Willsey died three days later from complications due to his injuries.  Adams till owns the Parry House Lounge and he said not a day goes by, where he doesn't remember that terrifying night back in 1991, when those alleged criminals set their sights on his bar.

"Just two, useless pieces of stuff they call human beings, out doing something that didn't need to be done," Adams said.

According to investigators, DNA evidence led them to arrest Alaniz. They're continuing their search for an alleged accomplice to the crime.

Alaniz remains behind bars.