UPDATE 12/11/08 – Erin Caffey’s murder trial has been moved to Hopkins County, Texas, in a change of venue from Rains County.Â Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty due to Erin’s age. Jury selection will begin February 2, 2009, with the trial set to start February 9.Â Â Both Charles Allen Waid and Charlie James Wilkinson pled guilty last month to capital murder for their involvement in the killings of Erin’s mother and younger brothers.
Top: The Caffeys, L to R: Mathew, Terry, Tyler, Penny, Erin
Bottom: Charlie Wilkinson, Charles Waid, Bobbi Johnson
Erin Caffey with Charlie Wilkinson
Alba, TX (March 3, 2008) - Erin Caffey, 16, was raised Baptist, and not a little bit Baptist either. Homeschooled until this semester, her parents were maybe stricter than many. Erin’s mother, Penny Caffey, was a member of The Gaston Singers, a small gospel group. Her parents were members of Miracle Faith Baptist Church in Alba. Her little brothers Mathew “Bubba”, 13, and Tyler, 8, played guitar in church. Erin’s father, Terry, had a sign nailed to a tree in front of the home referencing Joshua 24:15 – “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Apparently, Erin Caffey disagreed.
Now Erin, Charlie Wilkinson, Charles Allen Waid, and Bobbi Gale Johnson are charged with murdering Penny, Matthew and Tyler Caffey and attempting to murder Terry Caffey early Saturday morning. Terry was shot, Penny and Mathew were shot and stabbed, and Tyler was stabbed before the house was set on fire. Only Terry survived. And, of course, Erin.
Erin Caffey and Charlie Wilkinson, 19, began dating this semester, after Erin began attending public school. The Caffey parents had “no use for him”, and disapproved of the relationship. Wilkinson drank alcohol, sometimes to excess, and slept in class at Rains High School in Emory, where he is a senior. At one point, Wilkinson became upset at school, telling a friend that his “girlfriend’s dad hacked into (my) Myspace.” Erin’s parents told her that she was no longer allowed to date Wilkinson, providing motive for the killings.
Erin worked at Sonic with Bobbi Gale Johnson, 18. Bobbi and Erin became friends, and as Bobbi started dating Charles Allen Waid, 20, her behavior began to change, said friends. Bobbi’s Myspace indicates a foul mouth, a hot temper, and a significant infatuation with Waid. Waid was a 2005 graduate of Rains High living in Emory, and his Myspace, set to private, lends few clues to the person he is but provides a picture of him with the title “True Rebel”.
How the planning happened is uncertain, and many details are still unclear. But sometime before dawn on Saturday morning, the four conspirators entered the Caffey home and shot and stabbed Erin’s family in their beds. They then set the house on fire and left. Terry Caffey managed to crawl through the flames with five gunshot wounds to his head, chest and shoulder. He made it the 300 yards next door, where police were called. Caffey’s wife and two sons were dead before the fire was started.
Erin Caffey is being held in juvenile detention. Wilkinson, Waid and Johnson are in the Rains County jail. Bond for all four suspects is set at a half-million dollars each, and all four are charged with three counts of murder.