HOUSTON – A newly ordained youth minister decided he could no longer keep his secret, confessing to authorities he was 16 years old when he fatally stabbed a convenience store clerk in 1994.
For his forthrightness, Calvin Wayne Inman found himself jailed Saturday, charged with capital murder.
The lead pastor of the 800-member Elim Church said he persuaded Inman to surrender to police after learning about the case several weeks ago.
"It was a situation that was on his conscience," said Ron Nissen, pastor of the Pentecostal church, told the Houston Chronicle in Saturday editions. "He knows it's the right thing to do. His desire is to help other kids not make the same mistakes he did."
Nissen called Inman, now 29, a fine man who got involved with drugs at a young age.
The newspaper reported Inman went to police earlier this month, voluntarily giving a statement admitting that he stabbed the store's 64-year-old clerk, Iqbal Ahmed, on Aug. 14, 1994. Ahmed died at the store. Inman and possibly another teen fled, and the case remained unsolved.
Inman of suburban Pasadena was arrested Wednesday and charged with capital murder as an adult. The Harris County Jail, where Inman is held without bond, said he did not have attorney listed.
"It was a God thing," Inman's wife, Shelley, said of the confession.
Ahmed's son-in-law, Shakir A. Rahmani, who had owned the store at the time of the stabbing, said the arrest surprised and pleased him. It was probably Ahmed's desire to help young people that led to him asking the teenagers to show identification proving they were old enough to buy cigarettes, Rahmani said.
"He was very strict," Rahmani said. "He didn't want any kids to go the wrong way. Maybe he was trying to teach them like he did his own kids."
Police said they interviewed Inman's friend, now 28, who acknowledged being involved in the robbery but not the stabbing. Relying on 1994 juvenile laws preventing prosecution of people 13 or younger, police said they could not charge the friend.