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Author Topic: 5 family members found dead in Bellville TX home  (Read 6042 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: January 18, 2010, 06:16:13 PM »

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6820768.html

5 family members found dead in Bellville home
Son of a victim reportedly being questioned

By PEGGY O'HARE, JAME PINKERTON and ANITA HASSAN HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Jan. 18, 2010, 3:49PM

Investigators are speaking to Maron Thomas, 20, about five of his family members who were found shot to death at their home outside Bellville.

Austin County Sheriff’s investigators and the Texas Rangers are continuing to question a 20-year-old Bellville man whose five family members were found shot to death at their home outside Bellville on Sunday afternoon.

Maron Thomas, 20, who formerly lived in Houston, was arrested around 3 a.m. Sunday after authorities said he was seen running outside naked, breaking into a car, then attempting to force his way into another home near the crime scene on FM 1456, about seven miles outside Bellville.

A neighbor held Thomas at gunpoint until deputies arrived and arrested him on charges of burglary of a vehicle and attempted burglary of a habitation.

Thomas said nothing to officers about his dead relatives, said Texas Rangers Capt. Freeman Martin.

Relatives went to the family’s home almost 12 hours later, around 2:15 p.m. Sunday, and found the bodies. Investigators believe all of them — four adults and a child — had been shot to death.

Records show those slain were Thomas’ biological mother and stepfather, his sister, his brother and his niece.

The dead were identified as Debra Phearse Washington, 54, and her husband, George T. Washington, 69; Thomas’ siblings, Kiana Shree Phearse, 25, and Cedric Thomas, 19; and Thomas’ niece, 3-year-old Khalilah Masse-Chambers, an Austin County Sheriff’s Office report shows. Kiana Phearse was pregnant, said the family’s landlord, Archie Feals.

Cedric Thomas was found dead in a wooded area north of the home, suggesting he may have tried to run to safety or to get help. The other four victims were found dead in their home, deputies said.

Austin County District Attorney Travis Koehn is reviewing capital murder charges against Maron Thomas, but Thomas has not yet been officially charged in the deaths. He remains in custody on the burglary charges today.

Investigators believe Maron Thomas lived with all of the victims at the home in the 8400 block of FM 1456. His mother and stepfather had been married since 1993, records show.

Investigators are still interviewing the victims’ relatives to determine a motive for the killings.

A records check turned up no criminal convictions for Maron Thomas in Texas.

Katherine Washington, George Washington’s ex-wife, said she and other relatives are still trying to piece together what happened and to process the tragedy.

“It’s terrible. I can’t believe it,” she said Sunday night. “I’m still in denial. The whole family is devastated.”

Katherine Washington said she and George grew up together and were childhood sweethearts before getting married. The couple had three children before divorcing. She described him as a good, church-going man who regularly attended services.

“I loved him then, and I’ll always love him as a friend,” she said.
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MuffyBee
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 06:19:56 PM »

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/local/100118-man-questioned-about-bellville-slayings
Man Questioned in Bellville Slayings
5 Killed in Small, Isolated Home

Updated: Monday, 18 Jan 2010, 3:59 PM CST
Published : Monday, 18 Jan 2010, 3:07 PM CST

DOUG DELONY
BELLVILLE, Texas - Five people who lived in a small home in an isolated area of southeast Texas were gunned down, and a man who lived with them was being held for questioning, authorities said Monday.

Sgt. Paul Faircloth of the Austin County Sheriff's Office said a 69-year-old man, his 54-year-old wife, a 25-year-old woman and a child who was about 3 years old were found shot to death inside the
small brick house over the weekend. An adult male was found shot to death in the woods just behind the house, Faircloth said.

Investigators are still determining how many times each person was shot and what the motive may have been.

The 20-year-old man being held for questioning, Maron Thomas, was arrested after trying to break into a nearby car and house at about 3 a.m. Sunday, after the slayings, Faircloth said. Thomas was held at gunpoint by a neighbor until authorities arrived, Faircloth said.

He is charged with burglary and attempted burglary, and the district attorney's office is reviewing the case to see if capital murder charges will be brought against him as well.

Four of the victims were identified were George T. Washington, 69; Debra Washington, 54; Kiana Shree Thearse, 25; and Khalilah Masse-Chambers, about 3.

Authorities later identified the fifth victim as 19-year-old Cedric Thomas. He was discovered Sunday afternoon in a wooded area north of the home on FM 1456.

The victims and the man in custody were living together, but the relationship between them hasn't been determined, Faircloth said.

The bodies have been sent to the Travis County medical examiner's office for autopsies.

The home, an aging single-story home, sits on a large lot off a two-lane farm-to-market road across the street from a large plot of pasture land. The closest neighbors are several hundred yards away, and the home backs up to thick woods.

Several sheriff's department and Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles were parked in front of the home early Monday.

Bellville is a town of about 4,000 people located 55 miles northwest of Houston. The area drew attention in August with the shooting death of a physician at his ranch. Two suspects were
arrested days later and charged with killing Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzalez of Houston.
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 07:46:20 PM »

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hotstories/6826959.html

Capital murder charges filed in Bellville massacre
Houston Chronicle
Jan. 20, 2010, 5:24PM

BELLVILLE — Prosecutors today filed capital murder charges against an Austin County man accused of decapitating his 2-year-old niece while massacring five members of his family last weekend.

“This is one of the most horrific crimes we've had in Austin County,” District Attorney Travis Koehn said. He said he plans to present the case against 20-year-old Maron Thomas to a grand jury next week and then decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Thomas was arrested early Sunday morning after being caught breaking into a home while naked, sheriff's investigators said. Later that afternoon, he told deputies in the jail about the killings in his family's home between the communities of Buckhorn and Cochran, said Texas Ranger David Maxwell. Officers were on their way to the house when relatives, concerned that the family had missed church services, stopped by to check on them and discovered the bodies. All died from gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The dead were identified as Thomas' mother, Debra Phearse Washington, 54, and her husband, George T. Washington, 69; Thomas' siblings Kiana Shree Phearse, 25, and Cedric Thomas, 19; and Thomas' niece, 2-year-old Khalilah Masse-Chambers. Contrary to previous reports, authorities said today there was no evidence that Kiana Phearse was pregnant. Her daughter's head had been severed with a machete, authorities said.

Cedric Thomas' body was found outside the home, as were a handgun and a shotgun, according to investigators.

Thomas remains jailed with bond set at $1 million.

Authorities did not discuss what motive Thomas might have had for the killings.

“It appears that a domestic dispute occurred the night of the murders, but a motive for the killings remains unclear,” said sheriff's Sgt. Paul Faircloth.

Can you say.......... 
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MuffyBee
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 08:24:54 PM »

What a horrible thing.  Massacre the  whole family  by shooting them and then decapitate a two year old child with a machete?    May this family be laid to rest in peace  an angelic monkey  And I hope Maron Thomas gets everything that the law can throw at him (and then some). 
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 09:44:03 AM »

Ridiculous---can find nothing beyond Jan. 2010.
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 11:56:01 AM »

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Relatives-of-family-killed-in-Bellville-seek-1713033.php
Relatives of family killed in Bellville seek motive
No closure in Bellville family massacre

PEGGY O'HARE, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
January 27, 2010

Nearly two weeks after authorities say an Austin County man killed five relatives in their home, surviving family members said they still don't know why the massacre happened.

“We haven't gotten any closure,” said Khalilah Phearse, 29, of Houston, whose mother, stepfather, two siblings and niece were killed Jan. 17 in their rented house on FM 1456 between the communities of Buckhorn and Cochran. “Investigators don't give us any information. So we don't really know all of the events that took place.”

Phearse's brother, Maron Thomas, 20, has been charged with capital murder in the five deaths and remains in the county jail under bail set at $1 million. Thomas was initially not allowed to have visitors, so relatives haven't had a chance to ask him about the crimes, Phearse said.
 ::snipping2::
Khalilah Phearse and Thomas' other surviving sister, Ka'Tara Price, who did not live in the family's home 65 miles northwest of Houston, said they are not aware of their brother suffering from any mental illness or having a history of any drug use.

But Price, 24, of Houston, said she believes religion played a role.

Maron Thomas became a Muslim in the last 18 months while the rest of the family has always been Christian, Price said.

Phearse said she wants to visit her brother.

“I would want to see him,” she said, “not just for the words — I would want to see the look in his face. I want to know exactly what took place.”

Prosecutors plan to take the case to an Austin County grand jury on Feb. 24.

The funerals will be at noon Saturday at Brenham Junior High, with viewing at 10 a.m. Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday at Alfred Funeral Home, 10114 Stella Link in Houston.

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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 12:10:05 PM »

http://www.khou.com/home/Funerals-Saturday-for-5-slain-in-Bellville--82940162.html
Funerals Saturday for slain Bellville family
January 28, 2012

BELLVILLE, Texas -- The funeral is Saturday for the four adults and one child discovered slain Jan. 17 in Bellville.

Austin County sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Faircloth has said the youngest victim, a 2-year-old girl, was decapitated.

A 20-year-old relative is charged with capital murder. Maron Thomas remains jailed with bail set at $1 million.
 ::snipping2::
Another sister, Ka’Tara Price of Houston, believes religion played a role. She says the family was Christian and Maron Thomas turned Muslim within the past two years.

Investigators have said a family dispute was involved and declined further comment. The case is expected to go to a grand jury Feb. 24.

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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 12:23:11 PM »

Here's an older article, but it has additional information, photos & details.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Charge-filed-in-Bellville-slayings-1711132.php
Charge filed in Bellville slayings
Capital murder charge filed in Bellville massacre

PEGGY O'HARE
January 20, 2010

BELLVILLE — A family dispute pushed Maron Thomas to go on a rampage marked by a fury so intense that he decapitated his 2-year-old niece with a machete after killing her and four other family members, Austin County investigators said Wednesday.

Thomas, 20, was charged Wednesday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his mother, stepfather, sister, brother and his niece. He remains in the Austin County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
 ::snipping2::
The massacre happened between midnight Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday at the family's home 7 miles outside the Bellville city limits, on FM 1456 between Buckhorn and Cochran.

Thomas then allegedly burglarized a car and was arrested around 3 a.m. after being caught trying to break into a house a mile and a half away while he was naked, investigators said. A neighbor held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived and arrested him on burglary charges. When deputies arrived, he had put on a pair of exercise shorts.

Investigators declined to elaborate on the nature of the household dispute, but said a family fight happened on the night of the killings.
 ::snipping2::
Killed were Thomas' biological mother, Debra Phearse Washington, 54; stepfather, George T. Washington, 69; sister, Kiana Shree Phearse, 25; brother, Cedric Thomas, 19; and niece, Khalilah Chambers-Massey, who was Kiana Phearse's daughter. Contrary to prior reports, Kiana Phearse was not pregnant, Austin County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Faircloth said.

Thomas' sister, Ka'Tara Price, 24, of Houston, said she believes anger and Thomas' conversion to the Muslim religion influenced his actions. She said she is not aware of him suffering from any mental illness.

“It's anger and pure evilness,” Price said Wednesday night. “He's always been a very angry person. If he thinks he's right, he's right.”

Price said another family member told her that her brother had a disagreement with their mother before the killings, but she doesn't know what it was about.
 ::snipping2::
Investigators said they have not yet received blood test results to see whether he was under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol that night.

While in jail Sunday afternoon on the burglary charges, Maron Thomas admitted to officers that he had killed members of his family, investigators said. As deputies drove to the slain family's home, other relatives called the Austin County Sheriff's Office to report they had found the bodies — about 12 hours after the slayings had occurred.

All killed were found inside the house except for Cedric Thomas, whose nude body was found outdoors in a wooded area behind the residence, Maxwell said. Price said she was told he had been chased there.

Near Cedric Thomas' body, investigators found a shotgun and handgun, both believed to have been used in the crime, he said. Investigators aren't yet sure who owns those guns.

The machete used in the decapitation was found inside the residence. The toddler's severed head was found near her body, Faircloth said.

The capital murder case will be presented to an Austin County grand jury on Jan. 27, Koehn said.

Photos at link.





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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 09:11:54 PM »

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Authorities-try-to-piece-together-Bellville-1695043.php
Authorities try to piece together Bellville killings
Published 06:30 a.m., Sunday, January 17, 2010
Quote
The Texas Rangers confirmed that Thomas fought medical personnel trying to take the blood sample, which will be used to see if Thomas can be linked to other evidence through DNA test results. “There was a struggle,” Martin confirmed.

Maybe drugs or schizophrenia?  Sad that so many lives were taken. 
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 11:38:42 PM »

Ridiculous---can find nothing beyond Jan. 2010.

really ridiculous.

Thanks for the 2010 articles Muffy.
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