A Texas man who achieved brief notoriety after he was arrested for having sex on a Las Vegas Ferris wheel in February was shot dead early Saturday morning after picking up his fiancée from the Houston strip club where she worked as a dancer.
Bryant Christopher Watts, 28, and Aaron Jones, 31, were charged with capital murder in the death of 27-year-old Phillip Frank Panzica. Police caught the pair after a brief chase and Watts allegedly confessed to shooting Panzica, The Houston Chronicle reported.
Panzica had just picked up his fiancée, who was holding the cash she’d earned at the club, and was driving the woman’s black Kia Sorrento with Watts and Jones allegedly sitting in the back, investigators said. At one point, Watts pointed a handgun at Panzica, told him “You need to come clean” and shot him, the fiancée told investigators, according to ABC7.
The men then allegedly dumped Panzica’s body on the side of the road and stole the woman’s money and car. The woman, who has not been identified, eventually flagged down a bus.
Watts and Jones were found with a “large amount” of cash when they were arrested, police told ABC7.
In February, Panzica was charged with committing sex acts in public after he was caught in a raucous romp with a woman aboard a glass-enclosed Ferris wheel in Las Vegas.
Panzica told WTVR at the time that he had initially gone to Las Vegas with his fiancée to get married – but she was not the woman he ended up with on the Ferris wheel. The two began arguing soon after arriving in Las Vegas and then Panzica went gambling.
“Won a little bit of money. Lost a little bit of money. Got some margaritas. Probably like four or five,” he told WTVR. “One thing led to another. She was there by herself.”
Panzica said he didn’t think anyone could see them when the Ferris wheel reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately for the couple, their quickie was visible on a video camera.
“We get up to the highest point, and we were like, ‘We’re golden,’” he said.
Panzica spent two nights in jail before his fiancée bailed him out. It’s not clear if that woman was the same person who allegedly witnessed his death on Saturday.