Rains Co. murder trial moved here

Defendant in triple murder granted change of venue

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

August 17, 2008 - The trial of one of four defendants in a grisly murder case that left an Alba woman and her two sons dead has been moved from Rains County to Hopkins County.

A change of venue in the capital murder trial of Charles Waid was granted Friday, and the case was moved to the Hopkins County Courthouse.

Waid, one of four people originally implicated in the deaths, was reported to have been hired to kill the parents of Erin Caffey. Penny Caffey, 37, and sons Tyler, 8, and Mathew, 13, died in the March 1 attack.

Penny's husband, Terry Caffey, was the only survivor. He was shot five times but managed to seek help after escape from their home, which had been set on fire after the murders, Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said following the killings.

The law for a capital murder charge includes a provision for the killing of more than one person. Consequently, the allegations for all deaths will be included in one charge.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, according to court reports.

Rains County Attorney Robert Vititow, the former Hopkins County resident who has felony prosecution responsibilities in Rains County, is the lead prosecutor in the case. He is being assisted by attorneys Lisa Tanner and Adrian McFarland with the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Waid's lead attorney is Doug Parks of Holly Lake Ranch. Parks is being assisted by Ted Beaty of Winnsboro.

Eighth Judicial District Judge Robert Newsom has put a gag order in place, restricting court officers and attorneys from publicly discussing or commenting on the case until the trial.

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, authorities said.

Caffey's then 16-year-old daughter Erin, along with her boyfriend Charlie Wilkerson, Bobbi Gale Johnson and Charles Waid, were all taken into custody following the deaths.

"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," Traylor said immediately following the killings.

Waid is believed to have been offered pay for his part in the deaths, according to reports.

Jury selection in the case is slated for early December at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. The case could be tried before Judge Newsom at Hopkins County Courthouse as early as February, court officials noted.

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