David Conley, Texas killer of 8, including 6 children, gets life without parole

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A Texas defendant convicted by a jury Thursday in the 2015 shooting deaths of eight people, including six children, will serve life in prison without parole, according to reports.

At least one of the children was shot 14 times, the child’s mother told FOX 26 of Houston.

The dead included defendant David Conley’s ex-girlfriend Valerie Jackson and her husband Dewayne Jackson, the report said. 

The slain children included Conley’s own 13-year-old son. The man who was killed was the father of the other five children. All of the children had long suffered abuse at the hands of both Conley and Dewayne Jackson, according to authorities.


All of Conley’s victims, including the two slain adults, had been shot in the head, the station reported.

“He’s the devil,” Vernessa Conley, the convicted killer’s estranged wife, told FOX 26.

Conley, 54, was spared the death penalty because state and defense experts in Texas had declared him to have an intellectual disability, FOX 26 reported. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such defendants cannot be executed, the report said.

“How could anyone look into the eyes of children handcuffed to their beds and slaughter them one by one?” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg asked in a statement. “We are forever indebted to the jurors who listened to the excruciating evidence, thoughtfully deliberated, and delivered justice.”

David Conley. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

David Conley. (Texas Department of Public Safety)


In 2013, all of the children had been temporarily removed from the home by Child Protective Services because of alleged abuse but Judge Glenn Devlin ordered them returned to the home just a month later, with Valerie Jackson and David Conley ordered to participate in domestic violence counseling and random drug testing, FOX 26 reported. 

CPS subsequently made periodic visits to the home until the case was closed in May 2014, the station reported.

Then on Aug. 8, 2015, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls requesting a welfare check at a home in the northwest portion of the county, according to FOX 26. The sheriff’s office later received criticism for not entering the home until their fourth visit, when they finally spotted a child’s body while looking in a window, The Associated Press reported. 

The sheriff’s office claimed deputies did not have enough information to enter the home during prior visits.


After spotting the dead child during the fourth visit, four deputies entered the home and were immediately fired upon, prompting them to leave, according to FOX 26. Soon began an hours-long standoff, with Conley eventually surrendering to authorities without incident, the report said.

Conley faced three counts of capital murder, including murder of a child under age 10, murder of multiple people, and murder in addition to another felony, which was specified as burglary, FOX 26 reported.

The motive likely stemmed from the previous relationship between Conley and Valerie Jackson, authorities told FOX 26.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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