Trial begins for Texas police chief charged in double murder in Sodus

Local News

SODUS, NY (WROC) — The trial for the former Texas police chief accused in the murder of a young couple in Sodus began Monday.

Timothy Dean faces two counts of murder for the slaying of Joshua Niles and Amber Washburn in the fall of 2018.

Investigators believe a custody dispute between Dean’s wife, Charlene Childers, and her ex-partner Niles led up to the deadly shooting outside of Niles’ home on Carlton Street in Sodus. Last month, Childers accepted a plea deal to charges of manslaughter.

Deputies launched a manhunt in the days following the shooting. However, Dean and Childers were both arrested in Texas weeks later.

In court Monday, attorneys provided opening statements and the prosecution called its first witness, Sgt. Matthew Carr of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Carr testified he was in the area of the crime scene when he heard ten shots ring out. When he got to the scene, he said he found the bodies of Joshua Niles and Amber Washburn. Deputies said Niles was outside his home when he was shot. Washburn was in her car about the leave when the suspect opened fire. In the backseat of her car, a witness told News 8, was the child.

In court, Carr said the baby thankfully hadn’t been injured physically in the shooting.

Also taking the stand was a neighbor who says she witnessed the shooting. Tiffany Thayer said she saw Timothy Dean wearing a dark hoodie shoot Niles and Washburn. However, the defense pointed out that in her initial statements she said she didn’t see the shooter’s face. The defense also said Thayer didn’t identify Dean until she saw his photo on the news.

Three other witnesses also spotted the man in the dark hoodie but were unable to identify the man.

Day 2 of the trial will continue on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

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