Texas man gets life term in shooting deaths of family of 8

National

David Conley is escorted into the Harris County Criminal Court of Judge Chuck Silverman during his trial Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 in Houston, for the murders of eight people. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, saying he has a mental disability. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — A jury on Thursday convicted a man of capital murder in the 2015 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend, her husband and six children, including his own son, at a Houston-area home.

David Conley, 54, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His trial lasted two days.

Prosecutors didn’tpursue the death penalty against Conley, as state and defense experts concluded that he qualified as a person with an intellectual disability.

Conley was convicted in the Aug. 8, 2015 deaths of Valerie Jackson, 40, and her husband, Dwayne Jackson, 50, at the couple’s home in northwestern Harris County. Prosecutors charged him in the deaths of the children — Nathaniel, 13, Dewayne, 10, Honesty, 11, Caleb, 9, Trinity, 7, and Jonah, 6 — but he was not tried for their killings. Conley admitted to killing the whole family in a video recording that was played for jurors of an interview with homicide detectives.

Nathaniel was Conley’s son from his relationship with Valerie Jackson, while the Jacksons were the parents of the other five children, authorities said. All of the victims were shot in the head one at a time after Conley held the family hostage, according to authorities.

During the trial, Valerie Jackson’s mother told jurors that her daughter had sent her Facebook messages just before the family was killed saying that Conley had a gun.

After the shooting, family members of the Jacksons criticized authorities for not entering the home sooner and questioned why it took deputies four visits and repeated 911 calls before they went inside.

Investigators said that they didn’t have enough information to go into the home until they saw the body of one of the children through a window.

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