Longview man Arrested Made In Double Murders - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/17/08-Longview

Longview man Arrested Made In Double Murders

      Gregg county authorities say they've arrested the man they believe killed an elderly couple last month. 44 year old Brett Michael Birdwell of Longview has been charged with capital murder. He's accused of beating and stabbing to death Neil and June Killingsworth, both 83 inside the couple's Gregg county home.

      Almost from the beginning authorities say clues from the killingsworth murders led to 44 year old Brett Birdwell.

    "Its been a difficult last 28 days or so. Birdwell has been a person of interest since the day after the bodies were discovered" says Gregg county sheriff Maxey Cerliano.

      In a formal press conference, the Gregg county sheriff and district attorney gave details of Birdwell's arrest and how the pieces began to fit together.

     "We believed we had reached a point where we had a sufficient amount of evidence that we could actually present an affidavit to a judge and obtain a warrant" says Gregg county district attorney Carl Dorrough.

      It was last night that sheriffs deputies obtained a warrant for Birdwell's arrest a man they were very interested in only a day after the murders and they found him at a residence in the 700 block of Golfcrest.

    "We had interviewed him we maybe even interviewed him on more than one occasion, we were continuing to work through the information we had and at an appropriate point it came together" says Cerliano.

    Police say he worked odd jobs for the couple, and a quick judicial records search shows he had numerous arrests for theft, forgery and even assault.

     "There was a previous connection to the family prior to the deaths" Cerliano says.

    Authorities say, the Killingsworth's stolen truck was left only blocks away from Birdwell's residence. And they were later able to link Birdwell to a credit card belonging to the Killingsworth's, which was used after their deaths.

    "It is gratifying to be able to and I know the sheriffs office did this, pick up the phone call the Killingsworth family and say , we have the man who killed your parents" Dorrough says.

      Authorities say there is no other apparent motive in the case, but simple robbery.     Birdwell remains in the Gregg county jail on one million dollars bond, and charged with capital murder. Bob Hallmark reporting/bhallmark@kltv.com

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