When 16-year-old Erin Caffey broke her “phone curfew” in February 2008, her father, Terry Caffey, told her to stop seeing her boyfriend, Wilkinson. This was a sad turn of events for the Caffey family. She tried to get back at her family by planning with her boyfriend to have them killed.
Erin first met Wilkinson when she worked part-time as a server at a Sonic restaurant. The relationship moved so quickly that Wilkinson gave her a ring that had belonged to his grandmother to show that he wanted to marry her.
Terry Caffey said, “There were just things about Wilkinson that didn’t sit well with me.” When he looked up Wilkinson online and saw that his Myspace page had sexual references and talk about drinking, he realized that his gut had been right all along.
Terry Caffey used the fact that Erin broke the phone curfew in February 2008 to stop her from seeing her boyfriend and end their bad relationship. Erin started telling her friends that she was going to kill her parents after that. She thought that was the only way they could be together.
The Caffey family was deeply active in their community’s church.
Their love of music led them to take part in at least one church activity. Tyler, who was 8 years old, played the guitar. Matthew, who was 13 years old, played the harmonica. Erin used to be a singer until she met Wilkinson, who had a bad effect on her and made her start to fall behind in school.
Early in the morning on March 1, 2008, Wilkinson showed up in front of Caffey’s house. Charles Allen Waid, who was 20 years old, and Bobbi Gale Johnson, who was 18 years old, were with him.
Erin Caffey ran out of her house quickly to meet the group. She was still in her pajamas, so she got in the car with them right away. The noise, according to Terry, woke him up at 2 AM.
Wilkinson and Waid broke into the house, went to Terry and Penny’s room, and started shooting, hitting Terry many times. They shot at Penny and stabbed her in the neck with a samurai sword, which almost cut off her head.
The two went upstairs to kill Tyler and Matthew. While Matthew was getting stabbed over and over by two people who took turns, Tyler was shot in the face. Terry said that he told his son to ask Charlie, “Why are you doing this?” and that’s when he knew who was in his house and why.
Wilkinson promised to pay Waid $2,000 if he helped him rob the house, so the two of them did it. Wilkinson and Waid set fire to the house, but Terry got out through a window after he woke up and crawled nearly two hours to his neighbor Tommy Gastons’ house.
Tommy Gaston called 911, and the operator asked Terry where he was bleeding. Terry replied, “Where am I not bleeding from?” Caffey Terry was taken to the critical care unit at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.
Three hours later, Wilkinson, Waid, and Johnson were taken by the police. Erin was hiding in a trailer and was found. Wilkinson is said to have told the police that he told them to run away together, but Erin wouldn’t let him. Waid and Johnson, who is his girlfriend, both told the same story.
Wilkinson and Waid were both given a life sentence without the possibility of release in October 2008. Johnson and Erin Caffey both admitted to murder three months later. Erin received two consecutive life sentences plus 25 years, while Johnson received two concurrent terms of 40 years each.
Terry appealed for the death penalty against Wilkinson and Waid to be dropped after he had forgiven them. He pardoned his daughter because he believed she was not involved in the murder’s preparation, as she claimed.