David Ray Conley, who shot to death eight people including six children, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday
“How could anyone look into the eyes of children handcuffed to their beds and slaughter them one by one?” Ogg said. “We are forever indebted to the jurors who listened to the excruciating evidence, thoughtfully deliberated, and delivered justice.”
Conley, 54, killed his ex-girlfriend Valerie Jackson, 40, her husband, Dwayne Jackson, 50, Jonah Jackson, 6; Trinity Jackson, 7; Caleb Jackson, 9; Dwayne Jackson Jr., 10; Honesty Jackson, 11 and Nathaniel Conley, 13.
Conley was sentenced to the maximum penalty permitted by law, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that persons who are intellectually disabled are not eligible for execution.
Both State and defense experts concluded Conley qualified as a person with intellectual disability.
Conley was arrested after surrendering to sheriff’s deputies following a police standoff at his ex-girlfriend’s house in northwest Harris County on Aug 8, 2015.
After breaking in, he immediately shot 3 members of the family, restraining the rest until later, when he fatally shot them all.
Following the jury verdict, four people gave victim impact statements, addressing Conley directly for what he had done.
“Your heartless act not only robbed our beloved family, it robbed our plans,” said Darlene Benton, sister to 50-year-old Dwayne Jackson “We’d hoped to see them flourish into whom God created them to be.”
“We will never truly know what they went through,” said Natalie Conley, a surviving sibling who is older and did not live at the home.
She was not present when her father, David, killed her mother, Valerie, and the seven others. “Each individual member of my family was someone and didn’t get the chance to become who they would be.”
Ogg thanked Assistant District Attorneys Alycia Harvey, Christopher Condon and Zepinood Zimmer for their hard work in prosecuting the case.
She also thanked State District Judge Chuck Silverman for clearing the way for the case to be presented to a jury.
“We appreciate Judge Silverman prioritizing this especially tragic case so that it could go to trial,” Ogg said.