1 of 4 family members connected to Zavalla couple's death accept - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Breaking

1 of 4 family members connected to Zavalla couple's death accepts plea deal

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Paul Westfall (Source: Tyler County Jail) Paul Westfall (Source: Tyler County Jail)
Kristen Westfall (Source: Tyler County Jail) Kristen Westfall (Source: Tyler County Jail)
Cameron Westfall (Source: Tyler County Jail) Cameron Westfall (Source: Tyler County Jail)
WOODVILLE, TX (KTRE) -

One of the four Westfall family members connected to the killing of a couple outside of a Tyler County church in 2014 has pleaded guilty to her involvement.

Letha Westfall accepted a plea deal from the Attorney General’s office for engaging in organized criminal activity. Westfall was given a life sentence but will be eligible for parole after 30 years. Westfall also waived her right to appeal and agreed to testify if asked in Kristen and Paul's trial.

The plea comes 12 days after her son pleaded guilty to his involvement pending him testifying against his other three family members.
After the plea, Nathan's father Jim Maddox gave a statement in court.

"I've been looking to this day for some time," Maddox said. "Justice has been served. I can't imagine what was in your mind. It grieves me to see the depravity but I am happy [our granddaughter] was removed. I don't have any hatred. I pity your soul. [Nathan] knew this was coming. He sat on our sofa a week earlier and said, ‘Dad, they are going to kill us,’ and he was right."

"God gave his son for people like you and me. The Bible says we all have a depraved side, but I don’t think we have gone as far as y'all have ... It is my prayer that before you leave this world that you find peace with God."

"I refuse to live in unforgiveness, so I forgive you, but I am not God."

Maddox concluded that so many lives have changed and will not be the same.

Nathan's mom Kelly Haggard also spoke.

"When I look at you in your eyes, I see the face of evil," Haggard said. "You robbed us of a chance to comfort them and say goodbye to them. I hope you live a long life and this haunts you every breath you take. I hope to find forgiveness one day, but it is hard. I'm just glad I don't have the hate you have, and I can't go there. You didn't destroy all of Nathan and Krystal because they will live on in their children, and you can't stop that ... I hope every night and every day you see their faces."

Krystal's mother Rhonda Humphress asked some questions.

"Why Letha would you do this?" Humphress read off of a paper written by Krystal's brother. "Know that the lives you destroyed will live on in me and my family. You may ask why we did not ask for the death penalty, and it's because we are not you. We are not murderers. Krystal lives free in bliss. You took her from us in this form but not in her spirit. Krystal didn't give up. She told us they are going to have to kill me, and you did."

"Letha, what kind of mother would plan on murdering their children?" Humphress asked. "Even if I did to your children what you did to mine I don't think you would feel anything."

"My daughter died a martyr,"Humphress said. "She fought for a child she didn't give birth to. All they wanted to do was love and respect her. Theirs is a depth of love that will follow her children to heaven. Letha, what do you feel? You took your children's hands and led them into hell. You never stopped them ... You didn't murder a stranger. You knew her. I hope they haunt you the rest of your life. I will not offer you forgiveness because I am no judge. What I will offer is a message from Krystal's 13-year-old son, 'crawl in a hole and die.'"

"I can go on and on for 24 hours and not get done with what I feel," Nathan's sister said. "You took my big brother, my protector, and my best friend. I will never understand why you would take a man from his daughter. You, Kristen, your son and husband, you are evil, pure evil. You didn't win ... It didn't have to be this way."

On Jan. 18, 2014, Nathan and Krystal were gunned down in the parking lot of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. After a special grand jury met on March 11, Paul Westfall, Letha Westfall, Kristen Westfall, and Cameron Westfall were all indicted for engaging in criminal activity.

According to the grand jury indictment, Paul, Letha and Kristen Westfall shot the couple with a firearm. It states Cameron Westfall hid a shotgun, rifle, duct tape, shotgun shells, rifle cartridges, and gloves during the sheriff's office's investigation into the deaths.

The arrests of the four came 52 days after the Maddox couple was killed. Kristen Westfall was the ex-wife of Nathan, and Cameron Westfall is her brother. Paul and Letha were the maternal grandparents of the couple’s child. The four were arrested just down the road from where the shooting happened.

Last November, Letha, Paul, and Kristen were all re-indicted on capital murder charges after the attorney general’s office took over the case from the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office. At the time, Nathan and Krystal’s family did not believe the case was being properly handled by District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy.

Kristen is the next member to have any court proceedings set. Her trial is set to begin on August 8. On May 12, a change of venue was granted for the trial. The trial will be moved from Tyler County to Bryan.

Dates have not been set for Paul Westfall.

Copyright 2016 KTRE. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:28 PM EST2017-11-19 02:28:07 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
  • East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:26 PM EST2017-11-18 00:26:00 GMT

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>
  • Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:25 PM EST2017-11-18 00:25:00 GMT
    Source: KTRESource: KTRE

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly