The suspect in the killing of a 24-year-old woman in Grapevine was accused of stalking and harassing his former girlfriend during the past month, including showing up twice at her dorm room and causing her to “fear for my safety,” court records show.
Charles Dean Bryant, 30, faces a capital murder charge in the death of Jacqueline Vandagriff, a Texas Woman’s University student who was found burned and dismembered in a kiddie pool near Lake Grapevine on Sept. 14.
Authorities say Bryant and Vandagriff likely met the night before at a Denton bar.
Before that, Bryant had been jailed twice and ordered not to contact a former girlfriend, a student at the University of North Texas, after she obtained a protective order against him. In an application for the protective order, the ex-girlfriend said she and Bryant broke up Aug. 23 after three months of dating.
On Aug. 24, according to the application, Bryant showed up at the woman’s dorm room and tried to kiss her. She pushed him away as he begged her to get back together with him.
“I was surprised to see Charles because I had not told him where I was staying,” the ex-girlfriend wrote in the application.
After Bryant left, she contacted UNT police and filed a harassment complaint.
A week later, on Aug. 31, Bryant showed up at Buffalo Wild Wings, where the ex-girlfriend worked, and handed her a note, she wrote in the application. He then got a drink at the bar and asked to be seated in her section of the restaurant.
She told him she didn’t want to see or speak to him again, and contacted police. A police lieutenant contacted Bryant and told him to “cease all communication” with her, according to the application.
She wrote that Bryant appeared at her dorm room again on Sept. 6 and said “he had something for me.” She called UNT police, who arrested him on a trespassing and stalking charge.
Bryant, who was released from jail on his own recognizance, was arrested again the next day by UNT police on a stalking charge, the ex-girlfriend wrote in the protective order application.
“Charles has caused me to fear for my safety by harassing me despite being warned by police to no longer contact me, by showing up unannounced,” Bryant’s ex-girlfriend wrote.
A Denton County judge signed the protective order on Sept. 15, according to court records.
Bryant reportedly tried to get his ex-girlfriend to drop the criminal trespass and stalking charges against him on Sept. 17 — three days after Vandagriff’s body was found — according to records obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
The ex-girlfriend told UNT police that Bryant had sent her five emails asking if they could reconcile.
Grapevine police originally arrested Bryant on Sunday on the warrant for violating the protective order.
But he was on the Grapevine police radar because they had learned that he was with Vandagriff the night before she was found dead in Acorn Woods Park at Lake Grapevine.
Investigators obtained security video from Fry Street Public House and Shots and Crafts, two bars in Denton, that showed Bryant and Vandagriff together, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. They were seen leaving Shots and Crafts about 9:45 p.m.
Cell phone data showed Vandagriff in the area near Bryant’s home in far north Fort Worth about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 14 , the affidavit said. At 4:41 a.m., according to Wal-Mart security video, Bryant purchased a shovel at a Wal-Mart on Avondale Haslet Road.
In Bryant’s back yard, detectives later found “evidence that someone started to dig a hole in the ground,” according to the affidavit. They also found a “round patch of grass where it appears a kiddie pool would have recently been.”
Detectives interviewed Bryant’s roommate and ex-girlfriend, and both said Bryant had a kiddie pool similar to the one in which Vandagriff was found.
Detectives also found Vandagriff’s purse in the trash at Bryant’s home, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit did not say how Vandagriff’s body ended up in the Grapevine park about 22 miles away.
A 911 caller reported seeing a man standing over the fire and then leaving in a light-color SUV. The fire was set just off a narrow dirt path leading toward Lake Grapevine.
Bryant remained in Grapevine city jail Wednesday with bail set at $1 million.