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Man charged after eight members of Texas family shot dead

Daniel Conley is due to appear in court later today.

Updated 8.46am

Houston Home Multiple Deaths Flowers and eight balloons at the house. Source: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

A MAN HAS been charged with murder following the deaths of eight people at a house in Texas.

Daniel Conley (48), who had a violent criminal history, entered the Houston home through an unlocked window and fatally shot a woman he’d previously dated, her husband and six children, including a boy believed to be his own son, authorities said.

He has been charged with capital murder in the deaths and is set to make his first court appearance later today. Conley, who is being held in the Harris County Jail and doesn’t yet have a solicitor, didn’t appear at a court hearing yesterday at which he was denied bond.

The dead, who all shot in the head, were identified as parents Dewayne Jackson (50); his wife, Valerie Jackson (40); and their children Dewayne (10); Honesty (11); Caleb (9); Trinity (7); and Jonah (6). Also killed was a 13-year-old, Nathaniel, who was believed to be Conley’s son from the relationship with Valerie Jackson.

TEXAS 2

“We do not — cannot — fully comprehend the motivation of an individual that would take the lives of so many innocent people. Especially the lives of the young ones,” said Chief Deputy Tim Cannon of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

The killer’s motives appear to be related to a dispute with Valerie, who was his former domestic partner.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the eight people were found dead after a welfare check was conducted at the home. The suspect was taken into custody after a hostage negotiation team negotiated his surrender.

Houston Home Multiple Deaths Source: AP

After authorities learned that Conley, who had once lived in the home, had a warrant for his arrest for an assault charge, the sheriff’s office High Risk Operations Unit was called.

“While awaiting response for the (unit), the body of an unidentified child was observed through a window at the residence,” Cannon said.

Deputies on scene forced entry into the home and were immediately met with gunfire. The deputies withdrew from the home … and awaited the arrival of the unit

A standoff ensued for several hours between Conley and authorities until Conley surrendered, said Sgt. Craig Clopton, the lead investigator.

Investigators declined to say when on Saturday the victims were shot or if any victims were alive when deputies first tried to enter the home.

Originally published at 6.20pm, 9 August

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