Beaumont store center of separate burglary indictment, capital murder verdict

Iann Fletcher

Just hours before Chandler Ventress was convicted of capital murder in the 2015 death of convenience store owner Mettha Kuruppu, another man was indicted on an unrelated burglary charge involving the same store on S. Major Drive.

A burglary was reported at the Pick N Shop on Aug. 31. Someone had made a forced entry through an outside wall, according to court documents.

Iann Garrett Fletcher, 29, is the man police say is responsible for the break-in. He was arrested on an unrelated charge Sept. 15, but police say he confessed to the burglary after questioning.

The intruder took a large amount of scratch-off lottery tickets and cigarettes, according to a probable cause affidavit. Video showed the burglary happening Aug. 31 around 1:04 a.m.

Several of the stolen tickets had been redeemed at various places around Beaumont. Investigators believe Fletcher is recorded on surveillance both from the Pick N Shop and at other locations where the stolen lottery tickers were redeemed.

A Jefferson County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Fletcher for burglary of a building.

Hours later, Ventress was found guilty of capital murder in the killing of Kuruppu, whose wife Hasini Kuruppa now owns the store.

Investigators say Ventress, along with a man they call an accomplice, wore masks and robbed the store April 29, 2015. The other man is awaiting trial.

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