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Waco Tribune-Herald (TX)
May 17, 2002
Author: TOMMY WITHERSPOON ; Tribune-Herald staff writer
A former Waco resident was sentenced to life in prison after a Kaufman County jury found him guilty of capital murder in the shooting deaths of his parents.
Jurors in 86th State District Court deliberated about 50 minutes before convicting Andrew Niles Gordon in the May 8, 2001, deaths of his parents, Dorothy and Harrell Gordon.
The Gordons owned and operated Gordon’s Jewelers on North 25th Street in Waco for more than 40 years before retiring about six years ago and moving to their farm about 35 miles east of Dallas.
Because Kaufman County District Attorney Bill Conradt Jr. chose not to seek the death penalty, Judge Glen Ashworth sentenced Gordon to a mandatory life prison term Wednesday evening after the three-day trial.
The 46-year-old Gordon will be eligible for parole in 40 years.
Gordon had worked with his parents at the jewelry store for several years and was living with them near Terrell at the time of their deaths.
After telling at least two versions of what happened, Gordon told Kaufman County investigators that he shot and killed his parents because he was angry that his 80-year-old father wouldn’t let him borrow his truck.
Depression, drug abuse
Gordon testified at trial that he went to buy beer and that, when he came back home, he found his parents dead and saw two people running away.
Records filed in the case revealed that Gordon had become increasingly depressed leading up to the time he killed his parents. He had abused illegal drugs, alcohol and prescription medications for years, investigators have said.
In the two weeks before he killed his parents, Gordon told deputies, he had been drinking heavily, injecting cocaine and had become more depressed, court records indicate.
On the day he killed his parents, Gordon had been drinking wine and took 12 sleeping pills, 25 to 30 anti-anxiety pills and a “normal amount” of the anti-depressant Zoloft , he told deputies.
Waco police have reopened an investigation into the 1978 shooting death of Gordon’s wife in Waco in the wake of his confession to killing his parents. Sabrina Gordon’s death at her Northwest Waco home was ruled a suicide, but no autopsy was ordered in the case despite police suspicions and their requests for one.
Waco authorities arranged for Sabrina Gordon’s body to be exhumed in October. However, an autopsy on the skeletal remains failed to determine if she took her own life or was murdered.
Waco police Sgt. J.R. Price said he wants to interview Gordon about his wife’s death, adding that those efforts have been thwarted by the attorneys representing Gordon in the death of his parents.
Record Number: 105E497B22AC1E20
Copyright 2002, 2004 Cox Newspapers, Inc. – Waco Tribune-Herald