Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Serial Killer fugitive was arrested by U.S. Marshalls.
A Long Island man was caught yesterday in a nationwide dragnet after he killed six people in a spree spanning two hill country towns in Texas and a Pennsylvania suburb, federal authorities said yesterday.
U.S. marshals tracked down Paul G. Devoe III, 43, to a friend's home in Shirley. After a brief standoff, he was arrested on a Texas murder warrant and held for questioning in five other homicides - including the deaths of four people found in a Travis County, Texas, home, authorities said.
Devoe also was held on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, said Supervisory Deputy Marshal Hector Gomez.
He had a silver .380-caliber handgun with him when authorities found him at a house on River Road around midday yesterday, but he was persuaded to surrender, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Investigators believe Devoe shot and killed a bartender Friday in Marble Falls, Texas, before fleeing to a nearby town and killing four others two days later. En route to Long Island, he shot a woman in the head in Pennsylvania and stole her car.
In the quadruple killing, Devoe was charged yesterday with murder, according to a Travis County court affidavit. More charges are pending.
While closing in on Devoe, federal agents targeted places where they thought he would turn up. They sought his ex-girlfriend and told her she needed to leave her Suffolk home for her safety, said the woman, who didn't want her name revealed.
She said Devoe was a Patchogue native who drank too much and had a temper. She cut ties with him in 2001.
"I never dreamed this would happen," she said. She added that she never fathomed he was capable of killing five people, "but you can never put anything past anybody."
Devoe was sentenced to 20 months behind bars following a drunken-driving arrest in 1997 and served five years' probation, spokesman Robert Clifford said.
He was found at a home neighbors say belongs to Gerard Baldoni. Yesterday, marshals knocked on the doors of Baldoni's neighbors, telling them to leave their homes or get in their basements.
Neighbors on the usually quiet street described seeing a swarm of cars and agents in tactical gear, search dogs and helicopters overhead.
Agents stopped Stephanie Hancock at a roadblock when she tried to return home to her sons. "They said, 'Get your sons and get out of here,'" she said.
Surveillance was arranged in places Devoe was known to frequent, and authorities saw him inside the Shirley home, said Lenny DePaul, commander with the U.S. marshals' New York-New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Neighbors said Devoe once worked with Baldoni as a house painter and described Baldoni as an older, reclusive man with health problems. Baldoni did not respond to a message left at his house yesterday.
The search for Devoe began in Texas after bartender Michael Allred, 41, died from a bullet wound to the chest at O'Neil's Bar in Marble Falls.
An enraged Devoe actually took aim at ex-girlfriend Glenda Purcell, 44, but missed and struck Allred, according to the affidavit.
After shooting Allred, police said, Devoe fled 30 miles south to Jonestown, Texas, about 28 miles north of Austin, in a blue Dodge pickup he stole from a friend. The pickup was recovered Sunday by police outside a two-story home in the 2,100-person town.
Inside, officers discovered the bodies of Paula Griffith, 46, who lived at the house, her boyfriend, Jay Feltner, 48, and Danielle Hensley, 17, according to a Travis County affidavit. All had been shot, the affidavit said.
Griffith's daughter, Haylie Marie Faulkner, 15, was also found shot, her brother told the Austin American-Statesman.
Recovered from the home were shell casings for a .380-caliber handgun - the same weapon Devoe had when police arrested him, the affidavit said.
A white 2001 Saturn station wagon belonging to the elder Griffith turned up outside a home in Greencastle, Pa., just off Interstate 81 about 160 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. State police found the woman dead in her home there, DePaul said.
The woman's car was recovered later outside the Shirley home, marshals said.
Devoe is scheduled to be arraigned today in Central Islip on an additional charge of being a fugitive from justice, authorities said.
The trail of Paul G. Devoe III
1. Marble Falls
Friday - Authorities said Devoe shot and killed a bartender, Michael Jay Allred.
Sunday - Bodies found of four people who police said Devoe murdered
Yesterday - Body found of an elderly woman who was shot in the head insider her home.
Yesterday - Police find the unidentified elderly woman's car in Shirley, where U.S. marshals arrest Devoe