A man suspected of killing four people in a home near Austin was arrested after a brief standoff in New York’s Long Island, and police were investigating whether the slayings were connected to others in recent days in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Paul Devoe III had a handgun with him when authorities found him in at a friend’s house in Shirley, N.Y., around midday Monday, but he was persuaded to surrender, according to the U.S. Marshals Service, which worked with local authorities in apprehending the 43-year-old.
He was charged with murder in the slaying of a bartender in Marble Falls, Texas, on Friday and on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Hector Gomez said. Marshals expected he would be arraigned Tuesday in New York’s Suffolk County.
Gomez added that Devoe is a suspect in the deaths of four people at a home in an area near Jonestown, between Marble Falls and Austin.
A vehicle with Pennsylvania plates was found in the driveway of the home where Devoe was arrested, and authorities tracking down its owner found a woman dead in Greencastle, Pa., authorities said. A vehicle found at that murder scene was registered to one of the four victims at the Texas home, authorities said.
Investigators found the four bodies Sunday evening after a relative called police to check on a family member’s welfare at the home, Travis County sheriff’s spokesman Roger Wade said.
He did not release the identities, ages or genders of the homicide victims, but a San Antonio man said his mother, Paula Griffith, 46, and sister, Haylie Marie Faulkner, 15, who lived at the house, were among the dead, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Twenty-nine-year-old Jonathon Griffith told the paper he learned of his family members’ deaths Monday morning.
Devoe has dated Paula Griffith in the past, her son said.
Wade said medical examiners were investigating the causes of death.
The Travis County district attorney and sheriff’s office didn’t immediately say whether they were planning to file charges against Devoe in the multiple homicides.
Lenny Depaul, a U.S. Marshals commander in New York, said a woman was shot once in the head in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State Trooper Edward S. Asbury said Betty Jane Dehart, 81, of Greencastle, was found dead and an autopsy was to be performed Tuesday.
In Texas, saddened neighbors waited for confirmation from police on who was slain.
“It’s unnerving and scary,” said neighbor Brenda Sies, 50, who lives near the house but said she didn’t see or hear anything unusual over the weekend. “Everybody is very sad and worried that a murder can take place when we’re within a couple of hundred feet.”
There are only about three houses within 200 feet of the home, she said. The house is located in a cedar tree-covered area between Lago Vista and Jonestown, two towns located near the northern end of Lake Travis. Homes in the rural subdivision are mostly on large lots.
U.S. marshals did not immediately have more information on the woman killed in Pennsylvania’s Franklin County.