Texas

Waco police: Murder suspects wanted to put their victim out of “suffering”

Waco, Texas. A sworn statement obtained by FOX 44 News shows that the men suspected of killing 59-year-old Stanley Wilcox lived in the house he bought.

Waco police received a missing-person report on Wilcox on December 29, 2022. The next day, a homeless woman found his cell phone and turned it in at a store.

Detectives also learned that Wilcox had not been to his gym for ten days, which they were told was highly unusual for him, even during the height of the holiday season.

The officers went to Wilcox’s house on Garrett Avenue and spoke with three people who shared the house with him: 18-year-old James Kaylan Willis, 19-year-old Brandon Xavier, and 18-year-old Hevin Hamilton.

According to the affidavit, Willis told investigators that Wilcox left home on Christmas Eve without his car. Willis let investigators into the house, officials said, and they noticed that Wilcox’s ID and debit card were in the living room.

Investigators also noticed a car spare tire left near the porch of the house. According to the affidavit, Willis said he vacated the back of a white 2021 Ford Escape with North Carolina license plates to load his camping gear. Investigators also found tools, a knife, cleaning supplies, and Wilcox’s personal papers outside of the vehicle.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the escape and said they found signs that someone was trying to clean up a large amount of blood in the trunk area.

During a house search on January 6, detectives interrogated three people. Court records state that Willis and Stevens admitted to shooting Wilcox, cleaning up the crime scene, and throwing his body into a ravine near South 9th Street and an access road north of Interstate 35.

In affidavits, Willis and Stevens told investigators that they had a run-in with Wilcox and he was shot dead. They told police they decided to “put him out of his misery” after the shooting.

Wilcox and Stevens are charged with murder and tampering with evidence. They are in the McLennan County Jail on bail totaling $1.5 million each.

Hamilton is accused of not reporting the crime. She’s already out of jail.

(FOX 44 and KXAN contributed to this report)

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