Capital murder charge will stand against teen accused of killing mom, sister

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by JIM DOUGLAS

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WFAA

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 11:01 PM

PARKER COUNTY -- The capital murder charge against the Parker County teen who confessed to killing his mother and sister will stand, despite his lawyer's argument to lessen it. 

Jake Evans' attorney contends that the charge should be dropped, because the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that 17-year-olds can't be executed or held for life without parole. Under Texas law, those are the only punishment options for capital murder.

"The state is in a situation where they don't have a punishment they can apply to him," said Larry Moore, Evans' defense attorney.

He pleaded his case in a Weatherford courtroom Wednesday. Judge Graham Quisenberry declined to consider that motion, but did agree to set bail for Evans at $750,000.

Jacob, who goes by Jake, appeared skinny and pale, wearing a checked shirt and baggy blue pants. He said nothing. He's accused of killing his mother Jami and his 15-year-old sister Mallory in October at their Parker County home. 

Jacob's father, Darryl Evans, briefly testified for the defense, but said he would not use his personal assets to guarantee bond. 

Moore said the capital murder question will get an expedited hearing in an appeals court before Evans' case goes to trial several months from now.

Prosecutors say the Texas legislature is working on a bill to fix the problem, which stems from a Supreme Court decision last year. But Moore says any legislative solution can't be retroactively applied to Jake Evans.  

He said other capital murder cases in Texas also could be affected. If the charge against Evans is reduced to murder, attorneys say he would face 40 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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