Attack on Family Shocks Texas Community
- From: "tiny dancer" <tinydancer357@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 15:13:24 -0500
Attack on Family Shocks Texas Community
By PAUL J. WEBER - 1 hour ago
EMORY, Texas (AP) - A weekend ambush left a mother and her two sons dead and
the father wounded, a grisly shooting and stabbing attack authorities say
was carried out by the family's teenage daughter and the boyfriend her
"We feel confident that the motive was the fact that the juvenile daughter
and one of the individuals in custody were dating and that the parents were
attempting to break the relationship up, which led to the crime that was
committed," Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said Sunday.
The 16-year-old girl joined her boyfriend and two others in killing members
of the Caffey family in their bedrooms before setting the house on fire,
authorities said, confirming what most in this rural farming town had known
since the pre-dawn attack Saturday.
The lone survivor was Terry Caffey, the father. He was shot five times -
including twice in the back - before he dragged himself through the woods in
search of help. He was reported in critical condition late Sunday. The
family has since asked the hospital to release no additional information.
Killed were Penny Caffey, 37, and sons Tyler, 8, and Mathew, 13.
The Caffeys' daughter, who was not identified because of her age, was
arraigned Sunday on three counts of capital murder and being held on $1.5
million bond. Charlie James Wilkinson, the girl's 19-year-old boyfriend, and
two others, Charles Allen Waid, 20, and Bobbi Gale Johnson, 18, were
arraigned on the same charges.
Waid, Johnson and Wilkinson were being held in Rains County jail on $1.5
million bond. The Caffeys' daughter was being held in a juvenile detention
center in neighboring Hunt County. It unclear Monday whether they had
On Monday, students at rural Rains High School returned to classes, still
stunned by the weekend attack. Three of the four people arrested, excluding
Waid, were students there.
"These were students who had not been in trouble a great deal," school
district superintendent David Seago said just after classes started. "Maybe
some tardies and absences, but that's it."
Seago said the Caffeys' daughter enrolled just six weeks ago. Classmates and
Emory residents have said she was homeschooled before that.
The killings gripped everyone and everything in Emory, from the Sunday
morning church services to lunch conversations at small cafes along the
two-lane road running through this town of just 1,500.
Classmates described the Caffeys' daughter and Wilkinson as inseparable and
with few other friends on campus. Many were especially stunned by the arrest
of Johnson, widely described as a good student active in theater at the high
Jennifer McClanahan, a senior at Rains, said that Wilkinson had been scolded
during her English class last week for being on the computer. Wilkinson, she
said, in turn told the teacher that her girlfriend's father had hacked into
his MySpace page.
McClanahan and others said Wilkinson was not really a troublemaker, other
than constantly being told to remove the cowboy hat he always wore to
"That's Charlie," said McClanahan, 17. "He would start an argument over
something like a hat."
Carl Johnson, a friend of the family, said the Caffeys moved about two years
ago to just outside Emory. He called them good Christians and said he often
told the daughter he wanted her soft singing voice to perform at his
"(The parents) didn't like the boy and were trying to break them up,"
Johnson said. "They told me at church they didn't have any use for him."
The attack occurred on about 20 acres of pine-canopied, remote land in Alba
along a narrow gravel road with just two other homes. The area is so
secluded that even the closest neighbors reported only faintly hearing what
sounded like thunder early Saturday, and few saw the blaze.
Authorities said that Terry Caffey crawled 300 yards to his closest neighbor
to get help, leaving a bloody trail. He was shot in the head, twice in the
back and twice near his shoulder, Traylor said.
The Rev. Todd McGahee of Miracle Faith Baptist Church, where the Caffeys
worshipped and were the house musicians, wept and struggled to stay composed
during his Sunday sermon.
"When I first heard, I was like, I don't even think I would have crawled out
of the house," McGahee told his congregation. "But God has a purpose for
Terry's life. God has a reason. God gave him the strength to get out."
One gun and one knife were used in the attack, Traylor said. He would not
detail which suspects he believed were responsible for which acts, saying
only that all four were there at the time.
Police found the daughter hiding in the home of one of the suspects, Traylor
The family members were asleep in their bedrooms when the attack began,
Traylor said. Penny Caffey and Mathew suffered gunshots and stab wounds; the
youngest, Tyler, was stabbed.
On the Caffeys' wooded plot, the family's black Labrador waited in vain by
the ashes of the incinerated house and a burned van for his owners to
"There's been a change in this church and a change in this community,"
McGahee told about 80 worshippers. "And we can't just wish it away. ... It
will be the same loss, the same hurt tomorrow. There's been that change in
- Prev by Date: FL woman with minor boy.
- Next by Date: Re: IL Eric Hanson: Man who killed 4 family members had personality disorder, psychologist testifies
- Previous by thread: FL woman with minor boy.
- Next by thread: Re: IL Eric Hanson: Man who killed 4 family members had personality disorder, psychologist testifies