The owner of Allen’s Nine Band Brewing has been indicted for capital murder by a Dallas County grand jury.
The indictment came down Wednesday, April 22, five months after Keith Todd Ashley, who owns the North Texas microbrewery, was also indicted for federal wire fraud charges. The new charges stem from a case in which Ashley allegedly befriended a 62-year-old Carrollton man named James Seegan in an attempt to gain control of his finances. After allegedly shooting Seegan in February of 2020, police allege Ashley staged the crime scene to make it appear that the man died by suicide. Carrollton Police Information Manager Jolene DeVito told NBCDFW that officers found aspects of the crime scene suspicious, including the fact that Seegan, who was right-handed, was holding the gun in his left hand.
NBCDFW also reported that Ashley acted as a financial advisor to Seeger. Police allege Ashley incapacitated Seegan before murdering him in an attempt to gain control of his finances. The addition of the robbery charge makes the crime a capital case. In Texas, sentences for capital murder include the possibility of life without parole or the death penalty.
The previous charges against Ashley, which were filed in November 2020, accuse the brewery owner of bilking investors of more than $1.1 million via his company North Texas Money Management. Per the indictment, filed in the United States District Court on November 13, Ashley allegedly created a series of bank accounts that he used to receive funds from investors who believed that they were investing in legitimate, “no-risk” investments that would provide returns of up to 9 percent.
The indictment alleges that, in reality, Ashley was using the accounts to shuffle the money for his own purposes, including operational expenses for Nine Band Brewing, payments on his own credit cards, mortgage payments, and gambling at casinos.
Opened in 2015, Nine Band Brewing describes itself as Allen’s first microbrewery, with beers like the Cactus Cat kolsch and Blue Lacy Brown Ale on offer via its taproom. It’s unclear if the brewery is still open in the aftermath of its owner’s arrest — Google lists the business as temporarily closed, and calls to the brewery went directly to voicemail on Thursday afternoon. The company’s Facebook page was also down.