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Texas ‘vigilante’, 24, is charged with murdering convicted pedophile ‘after posing as underage child on app then shooting him dead during arranged meet-up’

A ‘diabolically cunning’ vigilante posed as a child online to lure a pedophile into a trap, then gunned him down in a drive-by shooting.

James Lewis Spencer, 24, admitted to murdering Sean Connery Showers, 37, after the convicted sex offender’s boy was found in Houston on May 29.

He was arrested without incident on Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, facing the Harris County District Court on Thursday.


‘To be frank, this is a planned execution,’ chief prosecutor Rehman Merchant said. 

‘I think he targeted an individual, he set up a meet, knew where he was going to be, and then discharged a weapon multiple times and then just went back home like nothing happened.’ 



Vigilante James Lewis Spencer, 24, posted as a child online to lure a pedophile into a trap, then gunned him down in a drive-by shooting

Vigilante James Lewis Spencer, 24, posted as a child online to lure a pedophile into a trap, then gunned him down in a drive-by shooting

Vigilante James Lewis Spencer, 24, posted as a child online to lure a pedophile into a trap, then gunned him down in a drive-by shooting

Surveillance footage showed a car drive up to Showers about 3.50am and stop next to him, before he was shot several times with an automatic weapon.


Police at the time couldn’t identify the car or the driver, but found Showers’ phone under his body with messages showing he planned to meet someone at a nearby park. 

Merchant said Spencer began messaging Showers on Kik, a social media app popular with teenagers, posing as a child, and agreed to have sex with him.

‘The communications were sexual in nature. The officers believe that they were meeting up at this park to engage in sexual activity,’ he said.

‘There are some communications on the phones or between the two about [Showers’] dealings or past interactions with children or underage individuals.’


He was arrested without incident on Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, facing the Harris County District Court on Thursday

He was arrested without incident on Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, facing the Harris County District Court on Thursday

He was arrested without incident on Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, facing the Harris County District Court on Thursday

Showers was sent to federal prison for 30 months for child porn possession in 2009, and jailed again for two years in 2019 for not registering as a sex offender.

Spencer was eventually identified through phone records, and his phone was tracked to and from the murder scene that night.

Detectives spoke to Spencer’s girlfriend, who told them he was frustrated police weren’t doing more to keep pedophiles locked up.


Spencer told her ‘he wanted to rob and harm those type of men because they would do bad things to little children and other people and he knew how to track them by an app on the phone’, his bail documents read.

‘A month later, defendant made the same comment that ‘if the cops were not going to do anything, maybe he should kill them himself.”

Spencer is yet to enter a plea, but police said he ‘admitted to his role in the incident’.

Sean Connery Showers, 37, was sent to federal prison for 30 months for child porn possession in 2009, and jailed again for two years in 2019 for not registering as a sex offender

Sean Connery Showers, 37, was sent to federal prison for 30 months for child porn possession in 2009, and jailed again for two years in 2019 for not registering as a sex offender

Sean Connery Showers, 37, was sent to federal prison for 30 months for child porn possession in 2009, and jailed again for two years in 2019 for not registering as a sex offender



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Merchant said police were trying to access Spencer’s phone to determine if he was connected to any other murders or attacks on sex offenders.

‘Based on the conversation he had with the girlfriend, that sort of comment he had made ‘pedophiles’ in the plural. As of now, we’re still investigating that,’ he said.

‘Look, regardless of the likability of the victim, we’re a nation of laws. No one gets to be judge, jury, and executioner depending on how they feel.’ 


Victim services director of Houston Crime Stoppers, Andy Kahan, called Spencer ‘diabolically cunning’ and said the case was something you only saw in movies.

Spencer was given a $250,000 bail ahead of his next court appearance on Monday, but was yet to post the bond as was still behind bars.

After prosecutors pointed out he was already out on bail on drug charges, he was ordered on 24-hour house arrest with GPS monitoring, and having no access to firearms, ammunition, or weapons. 

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