An Ellis County grand jury has indicted 16-year-old Austin Eversole of Red Oak on five charges relating to the fatal shooting of his father, Danny Eversole, 57.
Eversole recently lost his request to have his case adjudicated in juvenile court. After a lengthy hearing earlier this month, Judge Gene Calvert Jr. waived his court’s jurisdiction, which put the matter into 40th District Court, which hears adult, felony cases.
In making his ruling, Calvert said he found probable cause to support each of the four allegations and cited the “totality of the circumstances and the surrounding facts” as weighing on his decision to send the matter to the adult court.
“I do find that the transfer to the criminal court, 40th District Court here in Ellis County, would be appropriate and within the discretion of the court,” he said, adding, “The juvenile has exhibited sufficient sophistication and maturity to commit these offenses and to accept responsibility for those offenses in a manner consistent with adult court.”
With the move to criminal court, the case went before the grand jury, which added an additional charge – theft of a firearm, a state jail felony – to the four felony charges already in place: murder (first-degree), solicitation to commit capital murder (first-degree), burglary of a habitation (second-degree) and theft over $1,500 (state jail).
Eversole was 15 when the incident occurred March 8 at the family residence. He turned 16 in April.
After being transferred from juvenile to adult custody, Eversole was freed on $150,000 in bonds on the first four charges.
Testimony during the juvenile hearings indicated Danny Eversole was shot four times, with police later determining the pistol used was one of two taken from a house where one of the younger Eversole’s friends resided.
Three cameras went missing from Red Oak High School several days before the fatal incident and those cameras were found in a vehicle driven by the younger Eversole to a friend’s house after the shooting, according to the testimony.
Other evidence introduced in juvenile court included the teen’s own statement to police and a voice recording between the teen and a friend that relates to the criminal solicitation charge, which alleges the younger Eversole said he would pay the friend and “give him anything he wanted in the house” if he would help the teen kill his father.
Eversole’s juvenile attorney called witnesses who testified the elder Eversole had verbally, mentally and physically abused his son and argued that the teen would be better served in the juvenile system.
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