March 3, 2008 in Nation/World

Teen accused of killing family

Paul J. Weber Associated Press
 

EMORY, Texas – Angry that her parents demanded she break up with her boyfriend, a teenage girl helped kill her mother and two brothers during a grisly weekend ambush at the family’s rural, wooded home, authorities said Sunday.

The 16-year-old girl joined her boyfriend and two others in shooting and stabbing members of the Caffey family in their bedrooms before setting the house on fire, authorities said, confirming what most in this 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 his bloodied body through the woods in search of help. He awaited surgery Sunday to remove the bullets, Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said.

Killed were Penny Caffey, 37, and her sons, Tyler, 8, and Mathew, 13.

“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,” Traylor said.

The girl, 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 were arraigned on the same charges.

Charles Allen Waid, 20, and Bobbi Gale Johnson, 18, were the others charged with three counts each of capital murder. All were being held in Rains County jail on $1.5 million bond. Traylor said he didn’t know whether any suspects had attorneys yet.

The killings gripped 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 of the Caffeys’ daughter and Wilkinson described the couple as inseparable and with few other friends. Stunning most here was the arrest of Johnson, who was widely described as a good student active in theater at Rains High School.

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 described Wilkinson as not really a troublemaker, other than constantly being told to remove the cowboy hat he always wore to school.

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