Sunday, February 15, 2015

Custodial dad arraigned on murder charges for cold case shooting death of 16-year-old son (Wood County, Texas)

I have always been perplexed by these cases where the police declare a child gun-related death an "accident" with no investigation. All on the say-so of the father.

It took the police four years to figure out that Dad GEORGE SAUNDER's story was fully of hooey.

Notice that there is no mention of a mother in the home....

A little more research shows that, indeed, this was a custodial father. The mother lived in Arlington, Texas. See this interview with the mom.

Father arraigned on murder charges for cold case death of son

Published on Friday, 13 February 2015 11:04 - Written by 3

WOOD COUNTY (KYTX) -- Disturbing new details are emerging in the case of a Mineola father accused of killing his son more than four years ago.

George Saunders, 59, was arraigned Thursday on murder charges stemming from the 2011 death of his 16-year-old son, Loren Saunders.

In the arrest affidavit, obtained by CBS19, investigators describe a rocky relationship between Saunders and his son.

Loren Saunders' death was originally ruled an accident, after his dad told sheriff's deputies he shot himself while playing with a handgun. But investigators say inconsistencies in Saunders' account of what happened that night led them to re-open the case.

The arrest comes just weeks after the four-year anniversary of the teen's death -- something his father has maintained all these years was a tragic accident.

Loren Saunders died in January of 2011 of a gunshot wound to his chest. His father initially told police that he and his son were alone at their Alba home when he heard a "muffled pop" and realized his son had been shot.

It would take nearly a year for Saunders to be arrested for manslaughter, but that charge was later dropped, and he seemingly disappeared from investigators' radar.

But all that time, Wood County sheriff's deputies were building a case against him based on multiple lies they say he told, such as the fact that he wasn't drinking that night and where he and his son were during the shooting.

The arrest warrant also shows Saunders had a history of pointing firearms at his son and threatening to kill him.

But probably the most conclusive evidence against Saunders is the autopsy report, which shows the deadly shot was fired from 36-60 inches away, and that it wouldn't have been possible for Loren Saunders to shoot himself.

Neighbors on the otherwise quiet street tell CBS19 they were shocked to learn of Saunders' arrest.

"Living next to the dude, you didn't suspect it from him," Fito Carranza said. "He kept to him and he was laid back for the most part."

"It's very scary, Tony Vickery said. "It's sad to think that somebody would kill their own child. It's very sad. I've got two sons of my own and I love them very dearly. I could never think of doing anything like that."

Saunders was arrested at his home Wednesday, where neighbors say he's been living for at least the past two years.

CBS19 called Wood County Sheriff Jim Brown Thursday morning, but he declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Saunders is being held in the Wood County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

His next court date hasn't yet been set.