Two sentenced to life in Caffey family murders

Published: Nov. 7, 2008 at 9:36 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2008 at 10:44 PM CST
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On a weekend morning in March, people in the small East Texas town of Emory woke up to discover something horrible happened overnight. Most of a family, a mother and two young children were brutally murdered, and the father was shot and left to die. The family's home had been lit on fire to cover the crime. Then another turn - the couple's 16 year old daughter and three of her friends were accused in the crime. Today, in a Rains county courtroom - the next chapter. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane has the story.

Charles Waid and Charlie Wilkinson were spared from the death penalty today with a plea agreement - life sentences without the possibility of parole.

"I was very excited to get this offer. I thought it was the best possible outcome and I encouraged my client to take it," said defense attorney Ron Fergurson.

The victim's family wanted Waid and Wilkinson to receive a little mercy, despite their heinous crime.

"That's what the parents of the victims wanted...they were instrumental in seeking life without parole. Without them we would've had to go to trial," said Fergurson.

In March, the murders in the small town of Emory became national news. Penny Caffey and her two sons were stabbed and shot to death in their bedrooms. The father and husband, Terry, was shot multiple times but crawled to a neighbor's home and survived.

Along with Waid and Wilkinson, the daughter, Erin Caffey, and Bobbie Johnson were also charged with capital murder. A pre-trial hearing for Erin Caffey is set for December 4th. She will be tried as an adult. The projected date for her jury trial is January 5th. Johnson's trial has not yet been scheduled.

Courtney Lane, reporting.