Original article no longer available
By Donna McCollum
Connie Mae Edwards was apparently shot by her husband, who then killed himself
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – New information on a murder suicide investigation that happened around 1:30 Thursday morning. The normally quiet ‘Village Gate’ subdivision off Park Street in Nacogdoches was awakened by the sound of gunfire and screaming children.
Today the neighborhood has returned to its peaceful nature, but neighbors are still wondering what made Carlton Wayne Edwards shoot and kill his wife, Donnie Mae Edwards. The 46 year old woman was shot twice with a handgun, the same one Edwards used on himself. All this happened with the couple’s two young daughters in the same house.
“The older daughter, she was terrified last night when it first happened,” Art Wheeles, a neighbor said. “Then she got her senses together and then she was real alert. She knew what she was talking about. She gave the police department a real good description of everything that happened. Both of them were coping with it quite well and they knew whatever happened, they couldn’t undo it.”
Tonight the children Wheeles would voluntarily take to Vacation Bible School are with an older sister and maternal grandparents in Mississippi. Wheeles also volunteered with another neighbor to clean up the blood spill left in the hallway. “We didn’t want the family to return for the girl’s things and see this,” explained Wheeles. Following an autopsy, their parents will be buried in Mississippi.
Edwards father, Carl Edwards of Longview told the East Texas News that his son was taking pain and depression medication and routinely drank. “He would drink tequila in the evenings and we all know alcohol and drugs don’t mix,” said Edwards shortly after returning from delivering his granddaughters to their maternal grandparents.
The Edwards are SFA alum’s. Mr. Edwards just got a food delivery job. His wife was a dietician with Aramark at SFA. They were married on Christmas day, 29 years ago. The couple had recently moved back to Nacogdoches after selling a home in Mississippi. According to the older Edwards, his son and daughter-in-law were experiencing financial difficulties, yet preparing to build a new house. Edwards said, “I’m afraid you’re going to see more of this kind of thing as the economy worsens.”
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Murder-suicide: Autopsy report shows husband intoxicated at time of shooting — (The Daily Sentinal)
By MICHELE MARCOTTE
Sep 2, 2009 Updated Jun 4, 2013
Carlton Wayne Edwards, the 52-year-old man who police believe fatally shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself in July, was legally intoxicated the night of the shootings, his recently released autopsy report revealed. The autopsy, which was performed at the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Tyler, shows that Edwards had a blood alcohol content of 0.151. For Texas drivers age 21 and older, the legal blood-alcohol concentration limit is 0.08. Edwards also had a number of prescribed drugs in his system for a variety of ailments.
His wife, Donnie Mae Edwards, 46, did not have any alcohol in her blood system, but did have antidepressants, according to her autopsy report.
Police found the couple shot dead in the hallway of their Village Gate Circle home shortly before 2 a.m. on July 23. Police believe Edwards shot his wife twice with a .38 caliber before taking his own life. The autopsy report confirms this scenario, but did not reveal any new information, according to Sgt. Greg Sowell, public information officer for the police department. “Everything was as we thought,” he said. Two of the couple’s three daughters were at home the night of the shootings. Art Wheeless, who lives a couple of doors down from the Edwards home, said he and his wife awoke shortly before 2 a.m. to the eldest of the two girls knocking loudly on his door. When he got to the door, he said he found the 14-year-old in a hysterical state. “She said, ‘come with me please.’ But she couldn’t tell me what was going on,” he said, hours after the shooting. Wheeless accompanied the girl to her home and saw her father lying in a pool of blood. Still in his underwear and with his own gun in hand, as he was unsure of the initial situation, Wheeless said he led the girl outside, and within minutes the youngest daughter, 8, appeared. The three of them waited until the police arrived, and the girls were eventually taken back to the Wheeless home to speak with a child protective services worker. The girls were later transported to the police station where they were met by their paternal grandparents. The girls are now living in Jayess, Miss., with their older sister and maternal grandparents. He said the girls have a room at their sister’s home, located on the same property as their grandparents, and each have their own room at the grandparents’ house. Wheeless said the grandmother, who has kept in contact, relays the new experiences the girls have had and says they are doing well. “Even though they’re children, this will be with them for a long time, but it seems they’re adjusting quite well,” he said.