ALEDO, Texas — A chilling recording of a 911 call captured a 17-year-old Texas boy telling the operator in a calm, monotone voice that he had just shot his mother and sister multiple times.
Jake Evans, 17, has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of his mother and 15-year-old sister and remained jailed Friday without bond.
The double slaying in the family’s upscale home in Aledo, about 20 miles west of Fort Worth, happened while Evans’ father was out of town on business and his two older sisters were not home. The motive remains “a big mystery,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said Friday.
During a 25-minute call to a 911 operator that started about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Evans calmly says he just shot his mother and sister with a .22 revolver. He answers “yes” when asked if he’s sure they are dead.
“It’s weird,” he says as the operator continues asking questions. “I wasn’t even really angry with them. It just kind of happened. I’ve been kind of planning on killing for a while now.”
He adds that he could have shot “pretty much anybody.” When asked why, he says first that he doesn’t know but then says he doesn’t like people’s attitudes.
Evans tells the Parker County 911 operator that his mother and sister were rude, but he also says his sister, Mallory, had a really sweet side.
“This is probably selfish of me to say, but to me, I felt like they were suffocating me in a way,” he says. “Obviously, you know, I’m pretty – I guess – evil.”
Evans describes shooting his mother several times and then, as his sister screams, shooting her in the head three times. He recalls apologizing to her and telling her to “hold still … that, you know, I was just going to just make it go away.”
Toward the end of the call but before deputies arrive at his house, Evans tells the operator that he’s “going to be messed up.” He says he’s worried about having nightmares and asks if there’s medication to treat that.
“I don’t mean to sound like a wimp or anything, but this is – wow. I’ve never done anything violent in my life, you know?” he says. Later, he’s heard taking deep breaths, as the operator has instructed. “I just thought it would be quick, you know? I didn’t want them to feel any pain. That’s why I used a gun, but it’s like everything just went wrong.”
Fowler said Evans was the only suspect in the deaths.
Evans and his sister Mallory were being home-schooled. Evans had played on the golf team before withdrawing from Aledo High School in January. He played football in middle school.
Mallory Evans “was a sweet child that will be missed by her friends and school family,” Aledo schools superintendent Doug Manning said in a statement.
Jami Evans, 48, was an elementary teacher and assistant principal for the Aledo school system for 15 years, and “her dedication to her students and her love of learning was an inspiration to all who knew her,” Manning said.
Killer of 2-year-old gets four life sentences
By Jason BuchThursday, April 5, 2012
Jose “Lalo” Eduardo Arredondo on trial for the capital murder and agravated sexual assualt of two year old Katherine Cardenas, looks on as a witness approaches the stand Monday afternoon at the 49th District Court Room
Jose Arredondo is escorted out in handcuffs after being given 4 life sentences in the Katherine Cardenas case, Tuesday afternoon at the 49th District Court.
District Attorney Isidro Alaniz shows the jury a photo of the late Katherine Cardenas during the trial of Jose “Lalo” Eduardo Arredondo at the 49th District Court, Wednesday morning.
Jose “Lalo” Eduardo Arredondo, who is on trial for capital murder in the 49th District Court, looks on as his co-defense attorney Elizabeth Martinez prepares to turn on a laptop to play a video during Friday’s proceedings.
A Laredo judge has given a teenager four life sentences for raping and murdering a 2-year-old girl.
Jose Eduardo Arredondo, 18, was sentenced Tuesday in the 2009 killing of Katherine Cardenas. The details of the murder horrified residents in the border city.
“She was snatched from her home between 4 and 5 in the morning and she was taken to the northeast corner of the property behind a wooden shed, where … she was brutally raped and beat and then strangled to the point of death,” said Webb County District Attorney Isidro “Chilo” Alaniz, who prosecuted the case.
A jury earlier Tuesday convicted Arredondo on one count of capital murder, two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated kidnapping. District Judge Joe Lopez gave Arredondo life on all counts, and stacked the two aggravated sexual assault sentences. Arredondo won’t be eligible for parole for at least 70 years.
Arredondo, who was 16 at the time, had befriended Norma Patricia Olguin, a 26-year-old mother of 7 children who lived with her sister and teenage nephews, Alaniz said.
On more than one occasion, Arredondo and Olguin had sex, Alaniz said, but after a night of partying, she turned down his advances in the early morning hours of Sept. 15, 2009. Enraged and high on a cocktail of drugs, Arredondo kidnapped and raped Olguin’s youngest child, Alaniz said.
Shortly after, Arredondo fled to Mexico, but he was caught and returned to the U.S. in October 2009. DNA evidence linked blood on Arredondo’s jeans to his victim, and DNA collected from her clothing was linked to Arredondo, Alaniz said.
Olguin, a Mexican citizen who had legal permanent residency, was convicted of child abandonment, served two years in prison, lost custody of her children and was deported, Alaniz said. She came to the U.S. to testify in the trial and returned to Mexico on Tuesday.
Arredondo’s defense attorney J. Eduardo Peña said he argued that there was no way to prove how the DNA ended up on the clothes, and that someone else could have raped and killed the child. A confession by Arredondo in a recorded phone call likely was false, Peña said, because two psychologists testified the teen suffered from “hallucinations, delusions and was out of touch with reality.”
Arredondo was certified as an adult, but because he was a juvenile at the time of the offense he was not eligible for the death penalty or life without parole. Peña said he’ll be appealing the conviction and the sentence, which he said amounts to life in prison.
Three teens arrested for shooting death
By Tracy Dang
Times Managing Editor
“During the investigation, it was learned that unknown suspects attempted to gain entry into the game room, and while doing so, were confronted by the manager,” the statement said. “Shots were fired striking the manager, and the suspects fled the scene.”
James Roach and Ronald Mahaffey
Murder of Betty Swank
Victim: Betty Swank, 21
Murderers: Joseph Shaw, 22, James Roach, 17, Ronald Mahaffey, 16, Robert Williams
Crime date: October 17, 1977
Murders of Carlotta Hartness and Tommy Taylor
Victims: Carlotta Hartness, 14, & Tommy Taylor, 17
Murderers: Joseph Shaw, 22, James Roach, 17, & Ronald Mahaffey, 16
Crime date: October 29, 1977
Shaw, Roach, Williams, and Mahaffey kidnapped, raped and murdered Betty. Almost two weeks later, Shaw, Roach, and Mahaffey robbed and murdered Tommy and kidnapped young Carlotta. They took Carlotta to a dirt road where all three of them gang raped her. Roach and Shaw shot her in the head. Later, Shaw returned and mutilated her body.
The assailants pleaded guilty to the murders. Shaw and Roach were sentenced to death and executed.
October 16, Shaw’s relationship with a woman abruptly ended. According to Finding Life on Death Row, which profiles Shaw, the former military policeman took drugs causing the voices in his head to intensify. He, Roach, and Mahaffey decided to find a woman to rape and murder. And that woman was Betty Swank.
“[Shaw’s] only coping mechanism at this point was losing himself in drugs and alcohol, which he did all that night and the following day. As he did so, the voices intensified. They told him to get back at [ex-girl friend] and all the women who could hurt him. They told him to get revenge. Williams, Roach, and Mahaffey were also there. By nightfall on October 17, 1977, their drug-induced ranting evolved into a plan to go out and find a woman to rape.Finding Life on Death Row: Profiles of Six Inmates
By Katya Lezin
The four men kidnapped and raped Betty, who was the mother to a 15-month-old son. They then shot her to death.
12 days later after Betty’s murder, 17-year-old Tommy and 14-year-old Carlotta went out to do research for a school paper Tommy was writing about his county’s historic district. They were confronted by Shaw, Mahaffey, and Roach. The three assailants, who were armed with a .22 caliber rifle, had previously decided “to see if we could find a girl to rape.” They robbed Tommy of his wallet and keys and forced Carlotta into their car. The robbers then shot Tommy in the face and murdered him. Shaw, Roach, and Mahaffey kidnapped Carlotta and took her to a dirt road, forced her to undress, and gang-raped her. The terrifying details are given below. They then forced the teenage girl to put her head on the ground. The girl pleaded for her life. Roach ignored her pleas and shot her in the head, causing her to convulse. Roach shot her in the head again. This shot gave the gang-rapists what they wanted-Carlotta’s death. Later that night, Shaw came back to the scene of Carlotta’s murder and mutilated her body, cutting her breast and pubic area with broken glass and inserting sticks inside her body.
Shaw, Roach, and Ronald Eugene Mahaffey spent the morning of Saturday, October 29, 1977, “shooting up” with drugs and drinking beer. At approximately 1 :00 that afternoon the three decided, in Mahaffey’s words, “to see if we could find a girl to rape.”
Shaw, Roach, and Mahaffey drove to Polo Park, a baseball park, located off Alpine Road northeast of Columbia. There they saw a parked late model car occupied by Thomas Taylor, aged 17, and Carlotta Hartness, aged 14.
Shaw, who was driving, pulled up beside the parked car in such a way that Roach, who was in the front passenger’s seat, was directly across from Taylor, the driver of the parked car. Mahaffey was in the back seat.
At a prearranged signal from Shaw, Roach leveled a .22 caliber rifle through the car window at Taylor and demanded money. Taylor gave the three his wallet.
Shaw and Mahaffey got out of their car and Mahaffey took the keys out of Taylor’s car. Shaw ordered Ms. Hartness out of Taylor’s car and forced her into the back seat of his car with Mahaffey. Shaw got back into his car, turned to Roach and said, “Ok, now.” Roach then shot and killed young Taylor who was still sitting in his parked car.
Ms. Hartness was carried to a dirt road a short distance away where she was forced to disrobe. Shaw raped Ms. Hartness while Roach and Mahaffey looked through Taylor’s wallet. Roach then raped Ms. Hartness. Shaw raped Ms. Hartness a second time while Mahaffey forced her to perform oral sex. Mahaffey then raped Ms. Hartness while Shaw forced her to perform oral sex.
Shaw asked who would shoot Ms. Hartness and Roach volunteered. Shaw instructed Ms. Hartness to put her face to the ground but she refused. Shaw drew a circle in the dirt and drew an “X” inside the circle and told Ms. Hartness to place her head in the circle. Ms. Hartness again refused and pleaded for her life. Shaw told Ms. Hartness a third time to place her head on the ground and she complied. Roach shot Ms. Hartness in the head, causing her body to convulse. Shaw then took the rifle from Roach and fired into Ms. Hartness’s head, killing her.
Shaw, Roach, and Mahaffey left the scene, disposed of the rifle and bullets, and returned to Polo Park to satisfy themselves that Taylor was dead.
Later that night Shaw returned to the scene of Ms. Hartness’s murder and mutilated her body by cutting her breasts and pubic area with broken glass and by inserting sticks in her vagina and anus.State v. Shaw
The killers were arrested and charged. Roach, Mahaffey, and Shaw pleaded guilty to the murders of Carlotta and Tommy. Mahaffey was sentenced to life in prison in exchange for testimony against his accomplices. Roach and Shaw were sentenced to death.
Shaw, Roach, and Mahaffey were arrested on November 3, 1977. Each was indicted for two counts of murder, two counts of conspiracy, rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery. The State elected to seek the death penalty for Shaw and Roach and served the Notices required by Section 16-3-20 (B) and Section 16-3-26(A), Cum. Supp. 1978.
As the result of plea negotiations the State did not seek the death penalty against Mahaffey in exchange for his testimony against Shaw and Roach.
On December 12, 1977 Shaw pled guilty to all charges. Roach pled guilty to two counts of murder, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery, and pled nolo contendere to two counts of conspiracy.
A separate pre-sentence hearing was conducted as required by Section 16-3-20(B), Cum. Supp. 1978, on December 14, 15 and 16, 1977. At this hearing evidence in extenuation, mitigation and aggravation was introduced. The trial judge found aggravating circumstances and imposed sentences of death upon both Shaw and Roach.State v. Shaw
All four men involved in Betty’s murder pleaded guilty and were sentenced to life in prison.
Shaw and Roach were executed in 1985 and 1986, respectively.
James Terry Roach died in the state’s electric chair shortly before dawn today, despite international protests that juvenile offenders should not be executed.
Mr. Roach was pronounced dead at 5:16 A.M., nine minutes after receiving the first of two electrical surges. He was executed for the brutal killings of Tommy Taylor, 17, and Carlotta Hartness, 14, in late October 1977. Another defendant, Joseph C. Shaw, then 22, was executed last year. A third man, Ronald Mahaffey, was a state’s witness and was sentenced to life in prison.SOUTH CAROLINA EXECUTES KILLER: AGE STIRS PROTEST
Finding Life on Death Row: Profiles of Six Inmates
By Katya Lezin