A 19-year-old Quitman resident is now charged with capital murder in connection to his mother’s shooting death.
Jessie Dalton Owen, 19, was formally charged on Jan. 6 in Cleburne County Circuit Court with capital murder, a Class Y felony; theft of property (a firearm), a Class D felony; and theft of property (a vehicle), a Class D felony; following an investigation that began on Nov. 17 after his mother was found dead.
Addie “Christy” Owen, 41, was found dead in her home on Firehouse Road in the Hopewell community after her boyfriend requested a family member check on her when she did not return phone calls on the day in question.
A state medical examiner has since stated the Quitman woman died of “gunshot wounds to the head,” and authorities believe the woman’s son is responsible for her shooting death.
The woman’s boyfriend told Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office deputies he was worried about Christy because he had not talked to her since around 10 p.m. the night before and she had not responded to several other calls since then. Other family members had noted Christy’s vehicle was not parked outside her home and that the exterior door were locked, according to court documents.
Once a search warrant was approved, authorities looked for evidence related to the case in the Firehouse Road residence.
“The home layout contained four doors in total to reach the body,” the affidavit reads in part “The house did not appear to be ransacked or disturbed in any way. There were no lights on in the entire house except for a dim light in the playroom, the bedroom light, and a TV was on in the bedroom.”
Authorities also found a .22-caliber shell casing and a homemade silencer in Christy’s bedroom, the report states.
After talking to the woman’s family, sheriff’s deputies found out Jessie had a history of acting violent toward family members and that he had stolen his mother’s vehicle in the past. When the 19-year-old previously took his mother’s vehicle, he reportedly left it at a gas pad on Fry Road. According to court documents, authorities found Christy’s vehicle at the same gas pad on Nov. 18.
When questioned by police on Nov. 20 about his mother’s slaying, Jessie reportedly admitted to locking all the doors in the home before he fled “so nobody would suspect me.”
Though the 19-year-old admitted to breaking into his mother’s bedroom using “a red screwdriver that he altered” to steal her car keys and said he made the silencer found in her room, Jessie denied “pulling the trigger,” according to the affidavit. However, court documents state Jessie “confessed to wiping the gun, with a wood stock that extends to the length of the barrel, scope, and shoulder strap, free of any prints.”
Dina Butler, who is Jessie’s grandmother, reportedly told police on Nov. 25 that she found a gun that Jessie hid under a blue van in her yard and that she threw it in Barnett Lake in White County.
The grandmother disposed of the gun in the lake the morning after Jessie was arrested, according to her statement.
“Dina said she did this because she thought, ‘if there was no gun, there would be no case against Jessie,’” detective Jenifer Osborn wrote in her report. “Dina said she figured out where the gun was on her own … she remembered Jessie had asked where he could hide something that was five feet long and six inches wide. Dina said she told him under the van.”
A circuit judge has since ordered Jessie remain behind bars in the Cleburne County Detention Center in lieu of a $750,000 bond.
The Quitman teen is currently scheduled to stand trial in September.