Car salesman describes confrontation with La Marque murder suspect who stole SUV

A man accused of murdering his wife in La Marque has bonded out and gone on the run, allegedly stealing an SUV from a Houston car dealership to make his escape.

Galveston County held an emergency hearing Tuesday, revoking the bond for Trent Paschal, 48, charted with murdering his wife, Savannah, in October. 

The hearing comes after prosecutors found out he jumped bond, apparently cutting off his ankle monitor and stealing an SUV from a Houston car dealership before disappearing.

"He decided to go with the Tahoe," said Jack Ford, a car salesman with USA Auto Brokers on Shepherd Drive.


Surveillance cameras at USA Auto Brokers captured photos of the tall blonde man who took a black Chevy Tahoe for a test drive before taking it on the run from police.

"Got the keys to the vehicle," recalls Ford. "Drove it off the lot. I was with him. Went to a gas station. He got a knife out; told me to get out of the vehicle. I got out of the vehicle, and he drove off."

Ford says he didn’t realize at the time that the man was wanted for murder. Houston police presented him with a photo lineup, and he picked out the suspect as Trent Paschal, the La Marque murder suspect.

Galveston County prosecutors say Paschal’s bond was set at $550,000 total for murder, aggravated assault, felon in possession of a firearm, and aggravated assault of a peace officer.

Paschal’s defense attorney Nick Poehl told FOX 26 he had bonded out and was living with his parents in Houston on an ankle monitor, but that ankle monitor never left the house the day Paschal was spotted on surveillance at USA Auto Brokers. Poehl withdrew himself from the case Tuesday.


The car dealership is now asking the public to look out for the 2013 black SUV with no plates, believed to be the car the murder suspect got away in.

"He came off as a normal guy," said Ford. "There was some strange vibes I felt from him."

Ford was called to testify Monday at the emergency hearing to revoke Paschal’s bond. The hearing was called after he didn’t show up to a status conference on Friday. Ford says the SUV was stolen from the dealership two weeks ago on April 13.

"Learned never to ride with a customer again and trust the customer," said Ford. "I’m very hesitant now."

Both Galveston and Harris Counties have warrants out for the arrest of Trent Paschal. He’s described as blonde, about 6-feet tall, driving a black 2013 Chevy Tahoe with no plates, although he could have put some sort of plates on it by now.