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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Texas Killer Caught in New York: Suspected of Six Murders

Paul G. Devoe III of Llano, Tex, 43 yrs old, was captured in Shirley N.Y., after a brief standoff, Monday. He has been charged with one killing and held on $2 million bail. He is suspected of six deaths as of now.

Mr. Devoe had been hunted after the killing of a bartender Friday night in Marble Falls, Tex., northwest of Austin, and the discovery of four bodies in a house in nearby Jonestown on Sunday.

On Monday, after Mr. Devoe’s arrest, the marshals added a sixth possible killing. They traced a car found with him on Long Island to a woman in Greencastle, Pa., near the Maryland border, who was then discovered dead.

Tom Smith, supervisor of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, a group of Texas law enforcement agents sponsored by the United States Marshals Service, said the task force had learned that Mr. Devoe might be heading to Long Island, where his mother and sister lived, and midday Monday staked out a house belonging to a friend and former co-worker of Mr. Devoe.

“He was already in that residence,” Mr. Smith said. “They were going to knock when they saw him with a gun. He bolted, and they called for a SWAT team, but they were able to talk him out.”

Cmdr. Lenny DePaul, of the New York-New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force of the Marshals Service, said Mr. Devoe was being held for transfer to Texas and would be arraigned in Suffolk County on Tuesday morning. If he waives extradition, Commander DePaul said, Texas will send officers to take him back. He may also face charges in Pennsylvania and a weapons charge in New York.

The victims in the house in Texas included a woman Mr. Devoe was said to have known, her daughter, and two visitors. Officials said they might have been killed before the bartender.

Mr. Devoe’s arrest capped a search that began Friday night after the fatal shooting of the bartender, Michael Jay Allred, 41, in O’Neil’s Bar in Marble Falls. According to the Texas fugitive task force, Mr. Devoe had tried to shoot two women in the bar when Mr. Allred “heroically intervened and was gunned down.”


Investigators believe Devoe walked into a bar Friday night in Marble Falls, Texas, and shot and killed a bartender.

Witnesses at the scene told police that the gunman fled in a blue pickup truck later tied to Devoe.

Investigators then responded to a Jonestown, Texas, home after police received a call from a family member requesting that police check on loved ones inside the house, Travis County Sheriff's Office spokesman Roger Wade told ABC News.

Authorities found four people dead inside the home. They also found the same truck that the gunman had been seen driving from the scene of Friday night's killing, Wade said. Missing from the parking lot was a white 2001 Saturn that belonged to one of the people found dead inside the Jonestown house.

The identities and causes of death for the four people killed inside the home have not yet been released.

"The medical examiner's office is finishing up their examination of the bodies," Wade said.

As of now no motive is to be known.

Impact on the town of Marble Falls:

Devoe was released from Burnet County Jail less than a month ago on credit card abuse charges. His record also showed a stint there on public intoxication charges.

In New York Devoe was held on alcohol and drug charges.

Marble Falls is a place known for its quaint shops and tourist attractions, but a string of murders that started there could tarnish that image.

Residents wondered how the town will recover from one suspect's progression into violence.

"It's just real unfortunate it had to happen on Main Street Marble Falls," said town shop owner Donna Coalter. "It's a very peaceful place. It was an unfortunate situation. It reflects one person."

Devoe is a transplant from New York.

"Things were going wrong in his life," Coalter said. "He chose the wrong way to solve those problems."

Across the street from Coalter's bookstore sits O'Neill's Sports Tavern, where Mike Allred, 41, was gunned down by Devoe.

The victim had tried to keep Devoe from shooting an estranged girlfriend.

"A man's life was taken," Coalter said. "That's sad. That's the part we can't forget. It's sad this man lost his life. We don't know for what reason."

The incident leaves some thinking about the nature of their small town.

"Something like this erupts, it makes us step back and say, 'Goodness, do we still live in a safe community?" Coalter said. "I think we do. I really think we do."

Services for Allred will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Kingsland.

Question: When charged with murder as well as being suspected of five additional murders, why is there bail at all?

I will keep an eye on this story and see what motives are attributed to him in the coming weeks.

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