3 years later, Tyler County murder victim's mother sees end of c - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

3 years later, Tyler County murder victim's mother sees end of chapter in sight

Nathan and Krystal Maddox Source: Rhonda Humphus Nathan and Krystal Maddox Source: Rhonda Humphus
Source: Rhonda Humphus Source: Rhonda Humphus
Kristen Westfall being taken into custody, Source: Jim Maddox Kristen Westfall being taken into custody, Source: Jim Maddox
Three of the 4 Westfall's have been convicted, Source: Tyler County Sheriff Three of the 4 Westfall's have been convicted, Source: Tyler County Sheriff
Rhonda Humphus looks through photos, Source: KTRE Rhonda Humphus looks through photos, Source: KTRE

Rhonda Humphus has spent a larege amount of time this week looking through old photographs of her daughter Krystal and son-in-law Nathan Maddox. The photographs and memories is all she has left.

"He loved her kids and she loved his daughter," Humphus said. "She loved her enough to die for her. "

The Maddox couple was killed on the steps of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Tyler County on January 18, 2014. At the time of the shooting, the Maddox and Humphus families believed Nathan's ex-in-laws were responsible for the killing. Revealed in later court documents, Nathan and Krystal were fighting for custody of Nathan's child who lived with his ex-wife Kristen Westfall and her family. Testimony in court showed that the church was a site both sides agreed on to meet for supervised visits between Nathan and his daughter.

In March of that same year, Tyler County Sheriff deputies arrested Kristen Westfall along with her mother, Letha, father, Paul and brother, Cameron in connection to the killings.

In the three years that have followed, Humphus has been through a lot of emotions. Looking back over the last 12 months, Humphus believes the end to a chapter in the story could be coming. It is an end to the chapter that Humphus was not sure would be come.  In 2015, Humphus and other family members were upset due to a lack of movement in the case from Tyler County District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy.

"Every piece of information, I've had to call for," Humphus said back in 2015. "I've heard stuff on the street. I would like to get it from the DA first. Hopefully with the attorney general's office that is going to change, and we will get the information before the public does."

That hope became a reality with three of the family members getting convictions and sentences in 2016.

"So much happened in 2016 after feeling like nothing was ever going to happen," Humphus said. "Once the Attorney General got involved it was just bam, bam, bam."

On May 12, 2016, Cameron Westfall plead guilty to his role. Cameron admitted to tampering with evidence. Cameron would have to agree to testify against his family. Twelve days later, Letha Westfall would plead guilty to capital murder. Letha also agreed to testify at any future trials. Letha has been given a chance at probation. Letha could get pout of prison in 2046.

In August Kristen Westfall would go on trial, in a case that was moved to Brazos County. After eight hours, Nathan's ex-wife was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Despite the convictions, months ago the three have been sitting in East Texas jails. A day before the anniversary, Humphus said she was notified that Cameron was transferred to a Texas prison. On the three year anniversary, Letha was also transferred.

"It did bring a smile to my face that day," Humphus said. "I hope for her she saw the irony that day as well with all that she did and her role in making sure this murder happened."

Paul Westfall is still waiting for his trial. A pre-trial date is set for February 9.

"We are being told that there may be a jury trial in June," Humphus said. "There is a next chapter and getting them all in prison will end this chapter of it and after three and a half years at that point I think it is time."

Humphus said this week has brought a lot of emotion but when she look's at Krystal's children, that she now has custody of, she sees her daughter.

"Sometimes I will see a cardinal and her children will and they will point it out and I know that Krystal sent them to us," Humphus said. "The other day I was talking to a mother who is in a grief group with me and she talked about the hymn 'When we all get to Heaven' and I knew Krystal sent that to me because that was her favorite song growing up in church."

Since being arrested, the Westfall's have yet to make any comments on why they did the crime. Humphus said after the convictions ar over she is hoping to one day get answers.

"I just want to know what they were thinking," Humphus said. "I want to know where they were all standing and what they said. "There's a lot of us that have our own theories but that is just it. They are theories. I'd like to have the facts. I'd like to know."

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