A jury on Thursday found a man guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, her husband, their five children, and his own son in Houston. David Conley, 54, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His trial lasted two days. Prosecutors charged Conley with three counts of capital murder, including, murder of a child under the age of 10, murder of multiple people and murder in the commission of another felony, in this case, burglary, Law and Crime reported.
Conley did not face the death penalty because state and defense experts concluded that he qualified as a person with an intellectual disability, according to the Independent.
Conley was convicted in the August 8, 2015 deaths of his ex-girlfriend Valerie Jackson, 40; her husband, Dwayne Jackson, 50; Jonah Jackson, 6; Trinity Jackson, 7; Caleb Jackson, 9; Dwayne Jackson Jr., 10; Honesty Jackson, 11 and Nathaniel Conley, 13. Nathaniel was Conley’s son from his relationship with Valerie.
All of the victims were shot in the head with a handgun after Conley held the family hostage in their home in northwestern Harris County, authorities said. Prosecutors said that Conley bought the firearm and handcuffs days before the heinous crime and broke into the home through a window on the night of the killings, as stated by a report from Houston ABC affiliate KTRK.
Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office had responded to multiple calls for a welfare check at the Jacksons’ home that night but said they did not have enough information to go into the home until they saw the body of one of the children through a window.
Conley started firing at the deputies after they entered the home through an unlocked door. A standoff ensued before the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s High Risk Operations Unit and Hostage Negotiation Team took over and got Conley out of the house.
On Wednesday, prosecutors played jurors a video recording of Conley being interviewed by detectives following the killings. He admitted to killing the whole family in the video, according to the Independent.
“How could anyone look into the eyes of children handcuffed to their beds and slaughter them one by one?” Kim Ogg, the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas, asked in a written statement. “We are forever indebted to the jurors who listened to the excruciating evidence, thoughtfully deliberated, and delivered justice.”