Alleged Murderer Of East Texas Couple Was Their Former Yard Worker - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/20/08- Gregg Co.

Alleged Murderer Of East Texas Couple Was Their Former Yard Worker

The Better Business Bureau in Longview says homeowners should always contact them first, and find out as much as possible about odd job workers before they begin working at their  home.  

"We can check and see the workers or accredited businesses have reliability reports. If they don't have a reliability report then we can given them a list of our accredited businesses.

"We do background checks on all our accredited business," said Linda Witherspoon, Longview BBB Office Manager. 

Audrey and Jessie Pace, live two houses down from the Killingsworth's home where they were brutally murdered. Now, the Pace's are worried about workers in their neighborhood. 

"There are lots of different people coming in and out of the neighborhood, so we really pay attention to what yard care service or any kind of construction vehicle to see whose coming around," said Audrey Pace.

Better Business Bureau says consumers should ask workers for references and be on the listen for word of mouth.

"Always tell the workers that you'd like to check their references. Get two or three references from them. Also, never pay them until the job is finished, and don't let them in the house," said Witherspoon.

Birdwell was a former employee of Wilmer Johnson Lawn Service who mowed the Killingsworth's yard.

The arrest affidavit shows that three days before the Killingsworth were murdered, they contacted Johnson because Birdwell came by their house asking for a ride.

Today, we went to the home of employee Wilmer Johnson, but he declined to talk to us on camera.

LaKecia Shockley, Reporting lshockley@kltv.com

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