What Was Erin Caffey's Role? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/4/2008-Rains Co.

What Was Erin Caffey's Role?

His wife and sons were murdered, he was shot 5 times, but an East Texas father is out of the hospital. KLTV 7 confirmed that Terry Caffey was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Caffey, you'll remember was the only survivor in Saturday's murders in Rains County. His wife Penny and sons Matthew and Tyler were killed, then their house was set on fire.

Three people, Charlie Wilkinson, Charles Waid, and Bobbi Johnson, are all charged with those murders, as well as the Caffey's 16-year old daughter Erin.

She'll be 17 this summer and is now considered a juvenile in a court of law, but with the capital murder charges Erin could be certified to stand trial as an adult.

We asked Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham what goes into making that decision.

"The role of the juvenile can be very different in different cases," said Bingham, "So you have to look at facts of it and decide as the District Attorney based on their involvement their role if you are going to seek certification then of course whether you can meet statutory requirements."

First it's up to the D.A.'s office if they want to seek adult certification, then a judge will make the decision.

"They look at the age of juvenile offender, the probable cause the offense occurred, and whether the welfare of the community requires certification based on the seriousness of the offense," said Bingham.

Bingham says there are other factors considered by the judge like if it was an offense against a person, the maturity of the juvenile, and others

"You have to get as complete a picture as you can," said Bingham.

So we poured through the arrest affidavit's and highlighted what Erin's role seemed to be.

In Charlie Wilkinson's arrest affadavit, he stated that he and Charles Waid went to the house, but the dog was making too much noise. Wilkinson stated that they went back to the car and that Erin called, telling them to return in about an hour, so she could keep the dog quiet.

When they came back Erin was waiting at the end of the driveway. They then parked down the road, a discussion was held between them as to how to do the job. Wilkinson and Waid left the two females in the car and went into the house. Wilkinson's affadavit also states that after the murders, they went to the bathroom laundry room and retrieved a small lock box with cash inside, Wilkinson stated he had the combination and had gotten it from Erin.

Wilkinson also claimed that Erin had packed earlier, and they took her purse and bag out of the house with them. Once the house was set on fire, Wilkinson says the four drove around, before he and Erin were dropped off at Charlie Waid's house. He then claims they had sex and slept.

Erin was later found found in that home Saturday in the fetal position sitting under a pile of clothes and stuffed animal. She told the deputy she was alseep and awoke to two people yelling at her to get on the floor. The girl then said she remembers fire but nothing else.

If Erin was tried as an adult and convicted she would be eligible for life without parole. The death penalty is not an option. Now, if she was tried and convicted as a juvenile the maximum sentence could be 40 years and she could be eligible for parole as early as age 19.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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