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Texas authorities arrest 3 men in connection to deaths of 4 people


By Carma Hassan and Steve Almasy, CNN

Three men have been arrested and accused of capital murder in connection with a quadruple homicide in east Texas, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, four people were found dead on a property in New Summerfield, about 30 miles southeast of Tyler.

One of the alleged killers was an associate of one of the victims and the motive appears to be robbery, Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said in a news conference Wednesday.

“This was a tragic and ruthless killing. It was a senseless killing,” Dickson said.

He identified the victims as John Clinton, 18; Jeff Gerla, 47; Ami Hickey, 39; and Amanda Bain, 39.

The suspects are Dylan Welch, 21; Billy Phillips, 37; and Jesse Pawlowski, 20, the sheriff said.

Pawlowski and Clinton were associates, the sheriff said.

Dickson said investigators believe the three suspects stole a vehicle as well as clothes and guns from inside the victims’ home.

The suspects do not have attorneys yet, according to a court coordinator with the 2nd Judicial District Court.

A relative found Clinton deceased in the driveway when she went to retrieve her newspaper, Dickson said.

Law enforcement responding to the scene discovered the other victims in a second home on the property.

On Tuesday, Dickson said the victims were shot.

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CNN’s Jeremy Grisham, Claire Colbert and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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