Resolute family seeks justice after 84-year-old murder suspect deemed unfit for trial

ROWLETT – An 84-year-old murder suspect who police said confessed to shooting his 78-year-old former girlfriend, is not expected to answer to the charge in a courtroom now after an expert determined he is not competent to stand trial.

The development also complicates a civil lawsuit filed by the victim’s daughters, with the attorney for the man accused writing that the competency determination means he could be “found not liable” for the murder.

The finding was a blow to the family of Sharon Radebaugh, who had expected a possible swift conclusion to both legal cases thanks to what Rowlett Police described as a confession from Wilson Elliott. 

Now however they don’t expect to see a conviction, and they know the civil efforts could take years.

“If no one else is going to fight for her we certainly are,” said Eden Casey, one of Radebaugh’s three daughters. “And we’re not going to stop doing everything we can to bring justice for her.”

The murder in June prompted headlines nationwide due to the ages of the people involved, and the explanation from police in Rowlett that the motive was over a new relationship Radebaugh was in.

It was that new man Radebaugh had been seeing who found her in her living room June 3. According to a probable cause affidavit, he told police that they had planned to meet for drinks that night, but she wasn’t answering the phone, so he drove over to check on her.

He knew the garage door code, went inside, and found Radebaugh in the living room. She had been shot twice, at close range, with a shotgun. She had been so caught off-guard by the attack, her daughters said, that she was still holding a banana peel in one hand, and coupons she had collected in her other hand.

Casey was waiting outside the house that night as police worked and initially thought it must have been a robbery that went wrong. After all, Radebaugh had never expressed any concerns about Elliott even as she had started to move on from the relationship of several years.

Up until then, the daughters said Elliott had been a part of the family. On Saturdays, he would join them at a local barn where Sharon and daughter Jamie were still active in horse shows. The American Quarter Horse Association noted her death, calling her a “lifelong horse show mom.” He is in their Christmas pictures and was friends with all their friends.

There wasn’t anything specific that led to the end of the relationship they said, but in early 2023 it had run its course. Casey said her mom’s level of activity could be mistaken for someone 20 years younger. She was a passionate volunteer for the Democratic Party, traveled often and was not one to sit around and do nothing.

Jamie said she would occasionally get calls from Elliott who wanted to know what Sharon was up to and who she had been seeing. One of those calls came the day before the shooting while Jamie was out of state at a horse show. Usually, her mom was with her. This time, she sent a text message back that her mom hadn’t made the trip and was still at home.

Investigators decided quickly the shooting was not a random crime.

Elliott lived just outside of Trinity, a small town about a three-hour drive south of Rowlett. The affidavit though says police license plate cameras spotted his Toyota Rav 4 driving north toward Rowlett that day at 2:44 p.m. Then it was driving back south again at 4:08 p.m. Records from his phone service provider showed his phone started the morning in Trinity, then moved to Rowlett, then went back south.

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office arrested Elliott, and the affidavit says he signed a warning that he understood his rights. Then the document says he told detectives everything.

He also, went into the house through the garage door, holding his .410 shotgun. Radebaugh was sitting in a chair he said, and stood up. He asked if she was in a relationship. She asked if he was going to shoot her. He told her he was.

The affidavit says Elliott told police that after she fell from the first shot, he raised the gun which he called his “snake charmer” and shot her again, “to ensure she died.”

Radebaugh’s daughters say they were told that after Elliott returned home from the shooting, he poured a whiskey, sat down and lit a cigar.

“There’s no reason this person shouldn’t be convicted of murder,” said Radebaugh’s daughter Erin. “Having confessed, and with all the other evidence, I think that we’re just a little in shock that more couldn’t be done.”

The Dallas District Attorney’s Office told CBS Texas it was not able to comment on the case at this time.

The family is now focusing on the wrongful death lawsuit against Elliott filed within two weeks of their mother’s death. Attorney Gus Mignucci said there was a “disrespectful” settlement offer from Elliott’s legal representative in the fall, which they turned down. They had hoped a quick criminal proceeding would aid their case, but now the competency finding complicates it.

Still, Mignucci sees the potential for evidence that now won’t be used in a criminal trial, to aid the civil suit.

“Based on these [police] videos, based on the evidence from before, you know our argument is going to be that he was competent, that he knew exactly what he was doing,” he said.

A civil attorney for Elliott said he would reach out to his client, one of Elliott’s children according to the Radebaugh family, to see if he was able to discuss the case but didn’t respond again.

The daughters know now that they may be in for years of proceedings before there is any outcome in the civil suit. There was no hesitation though when asked if they wanted to continue.

“I mean, everything else is done,” said Jamie. “Everyone else has given up on it.”

“We just want him to understand,” Erin said, “if this is the only way that we can, you know, kind of drill it on home is that this is a consequence, and you’re going to suffer for it.”

While Wilson Elliott is still in the Dallas County Jail where he has been since a few days after the shooting last June, his defense attorney said there was an ongoing search for a nursing home he could move to.

By 111 Tech

Hey Buddy! I am Jassmine and I Just Started this website to update peoples about latest technology gadgets , accessories , smart phones and much more about technology. I am experienced in technology field and also i have my team working together on this website to provide all our users with accurate and valuable information. Stay With Us, Stay Updated. Keep Smiling!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *