The 19 year-old Aledo man charged in the October 2012 deaths of his mother and sister pled guilty to two counts of murder and was sentenced to 45 years in prison for each in a case that concluded in the 415th District Court in Weatherford today.
Jacob Ryan Evans pled guilty before Judge Graham Quisenberry to the murders of his mother, Jami Evans, and his sister, Mallory Evans, in a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office. During the proceeding, Mr. Evans’ attorney admitted a letter signed by multiple members of the Evans family into evidence which stated that, while they would prefer a shorter prison term, they supported the 45 year sentence.
The case began shortly after midnight on October 4, 2012, when Evans called 911 and told a dispatcher that he had killed his mother and sister. The dispatcher kept Evans on the phone until Parker County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home and took him into custody. When deputies entered the home, they discovered the bodies of Evans’ mother and sister. A medical examiner later determined that both victims died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
Since his arrest, Evans has been awaiting trial in the Parker County Jail while pretrial issues and appeals to appellate courts in Fort Worth and Austin were concluded. According to Assistant District Attorney Robert DuBoise, “At the time of his arrest, Jacob Evans was charged with capital murder, which under Texas law was punishable only by death or life in prison without parole. Both of those punishments were ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court due to Mr. Evans’ being 17 years old at the time of the offenses. In essence, Mr. Evans was charged with a crime for which Texas law did not provide a lawful punishment.” DuBoise noted that legislators attempted to retroactively fix the law in the 2013 legislative session, but that those changes had not yet been tested in the courts for situations like Evans’.
Further delays came about last October when two separate psychologists, one of whom had been appointed by the court, determined that Evans was incompetent to stand trial. Those findings led the court to sign an order transferring Evans to a state mental hospital to assist him in regaining competency. According to DuBoise, that commitment ended on April 20 when officials at the hospital notified court officials that Mr. Evans was competent and ready to stand trial.
In speaking about the sentences, Parker County District Attorney Don Schnebly said, “We are thankful these cases have come to a resolution. Jacob Evans deserves the sentences that he received. We also appreciate what the family has gone through during these very difficult times. We hope this resolution will give the family some sense of finality.”
Schnebly also pointed out that the sentencing ends challenges concerning Evans’ past and present mental abilities as well as other appeals. “The state hospital’s determination that Evans has now regained competency to stand trial would not have prevented the defense from asserting insanity at the time of the offense if we had a trial.”
Evans must serve at least half of his sentence before he can even start being considered for parole, Schnebly said.