DA's office: Son leads authorities to guns used in Zavalla couple's slaying

Cameron Westfall has allegedly lead law enforcement to the guns used in the killings (Source: Tyler Co. Jail)
Cameron Westfall has allegedly lead law enforcement to the guns used in the killings (Source: Tyler Co. Jail)
All four Westfalls are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity-capital murder (Source: Facebook)
All four Westfalls are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity-capital murder (Source: Facebook)

WOODVILLE, TX (KTRE) - One of four suspects accused of killing a Zavalla couple has allegedly led law enforcement to the weapons believed to have been used in the slayings.

Nathan Maddox, and his wife, Krystal, were killed in a Jan. 18 shooting incident after a supervised visit with Nathan Maddox's 5-year-old daughter at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Colmesneil.

Tyler County Assistant District Attorney Dan Hunt said 18-year-old Cameron Westfall led Sheriff's deputies and DPS divers last month to a lake near his Colmesneil home where two firearms were recovered.

Hunt said he does not know what type of firearms was recovered, but the recovery shows strong evidence that Cameron was involved in the shooting deaths.

"He knew where the weapons were, and he might have been involved before in the planning stage. He may have been involved in the act. He may have only been involved after the event in hiding the weapons. We don't know yet," Hunt said.

Chief Deputy Phil Ryan and Sheriff Bryan Weatherford would not confirm nor deny the new information saying that the case is still under investigation and they would not comment any further.

However, Hunt says the evidence has been sent off for forensic testing and will hopefully reveal who pulled the trigger.

On March 11, TCSO deputies arrested Paul Westfall, Letha Westfall, Kristen Westfall, and Cameron Westfall near Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

In a previous East Texas News story, Ryan said TCSO deputies went to the Westfalls' home to serve arrest warrants on them, but no one was there at the time.

"It appeared they had left in a hurry. There was a small grass fire, you know, burning leaves in their yard," Weatherford said.

They were on Recreational Road 255 near Mt. Carmel Road, Weatherford said, when they noticed a vehicle turn on Mt. Carmel Road.

"I initiated a traffic stop on this vehicle and it just so happens that they turned into the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church parking lot…the same place is back where we began on Jan. 18 where these horrific murders took place," Weatherford said.

All four of the Westfalls were each charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony. Bail was set at $1 million for each person.

"It's still under investigation. The deputies that are investigating - they do their investigating, and then they'll bring us the case whenever it's ready. We've already got enough to go ahead and get an indictment on the engaging in organized criminal activity, but if more information comes to us through the sheriff's office or the Texas Rangers, at that point, we might go back in front of the grand jury and get more indictments," Hunt said.

On May 8, Tyler Co. District Judge Jerome Owens found Paul Westfall incompetent to stand trial based off of a doctor's evaluation, Hunt said. Paul Westfall was found incompetent to the point where he can't assist his attorney for his own defense.

Paul Westfall has been sent to a state mental hospital where he will continue doctor evaluations until he's competent to stand trial or at least enter a plea, Hunt said.

Back on April 24, Letha and Kristen Westfall, the mother of that 5-year-old girl, were moved to the Jasper County Jail because of "overpopulation," said Jasper County Sheriff Mitchell Newman.

Newman said the Jasper County jail has mainly female inmates, adding that the jail contracts with the Tyler County Jail to house some of their inmates.

Since the deaths, Jim Maddox, the paternal grandfather of that child, has been in a custody battle against the Westfalls for the girl, who has been living in foster care. Last month, a Tyler Co. judge agreed to continue Child Protective Services temporary managing conservatorship for the girl.

A CPS spokesperson told the East Texas News that no matter what happens with the Westfalls' case in the future, CPS will never recommend that the child ever be placed with them. CPS has also completed a home study with the Maddox family and is just waiting to see if it is favorable, which they believe it will be, before they begin supervised visitations between Maddox and his granddaughter.

"They need all the details to come back in and so certainly we want every precaution taken that needs to be taken," Jim Maddox said. "They look into essentially who we are and just dig through our lives for lack of better terms, but again we're okay with that. We don't have any skeletons in the closet."

A status hearing is scheduled for May 21 at 10:30 a.m.

"It's still a gaping wound," Maddox said. "Very painful, but at the same time we're doing the right thing. The right thing always helps us and this is the right thing. We want them to pay for what they did, but the bottom line is the final judge sets over us all, and there's a judge that's bigger than our court system, and that's what we look for. There is an eternal judge."

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