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Authorities are still searching for a Texas man one year after he allegedly murdered his wife in front of her mother and then shot a deputy while escaping from custody.
Trent Vahn Paschal, 49, was charged with felony murder on Oct. 21, 2020, for the shooting death of his wife, Savannah Paschal, 30, in LaMarque, Texas.
According to an arrest warrant, an incident had occurred between Trent and Savannah Paschal earlier that day, which resulted in Savannah Paschal going to her mother, Shirley Kinchen. Neighbors described the incident as a fight to NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston and said that Trent Paschal left the home. Because of the fight, Kinchen and her daughter checked on the Paschal children at school before returning to Kinchen's home together around noon.
Kinchen went to use the master bathroom, after which, the report states, Trent Paschal emerged from the shower in which he had been hiding and announced his intention to shoot both Kinchen and his wife. Kinchen shut the door to the bathroom and fled the house, telling the police she'd heard gunshots go off behind her.
Kinchen took refuge at a neighbor's until Trent Paschal fled the scene. At that point, she returned to the home and found her daughter on the floor of the master bedroom, bleeding from two gunshot wounds to the abdomen. The responding officer and a state trooper attempted to perform CPR on her but she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Another neighbor captured video of Trent Paschal, apparently speaking to his wife's aunt as he was leaving his mother-in-law's home. He was telling her that he'd shot his wife. He reportedly fled in a gray Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, according to CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston.
Paschal reportedly abandoned that truck in Houston, but Harris County Sheriff Department officers later encountered him and a friend in the parking lot of an area Walmart and confronted him, according to the Galveston County Daily News. That's when he pulled a gun on officers.
"He produced a handgun from underneath his shirt and had it in his hand," Harris County Sheriffs Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland told local station KHOU. "It was a revolver that has been recovered on the scene. Ordered him to drop the weapon he did not comply and was shot several times."
Police later found YouTube videos, now removed, that Paschal made for the couple's children in which he essentially confessed to the murder, according to Fox News.
Paschal survived the shooting, was released from the hospital in December 2020 and was charged with with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felon in possession of a weapon in that incident, according to the Daily News and ABC affiliate KTRK in Houston. He was released on $450,000 bond from Galveston, a $100,000 bail from Houston and forced to wear an ankle monitor, according to KPRC.
Despite two violations of his bond conditions — a missed court date in December and a traffic violation in February — Paschal's bond was not revoked. He had been due to appear in court on April 23, but failed to show. KPRC reported that's when the court was informed that, on April 13, Paschal had managed to remove his ankle monitor, which showed up as plugged in at his home, and left his mother's house on a scooter, according to KHOU.
From there, Paschal went to USA Auto Brokers in Houston where, according to Fox affiliate KTXH, he asked to test drive a black 2013 Chevy Tahoe.
"I was with him," salesman Jack Form told KTXH. "Went to a gas station. He got a knife out; told me to get out of the vehicle. I got out of the vehicle, and he drove off."
Paschal's $450,000 bond in Galveston County was revoked on April 27, according to the Daily News. His $100,000 bail in Harris County was also revoked, according to KTRK. By the end of April, the U.S. Marshals were searching for Paschal, but to no avail.
In June, the police and Savannah Paschal's parents, who are raising the couple's children, went to the media for help.
"Trent, if you are out there and you’re listening, you’re letting your mom lose her house. And your stepdad," Officer Chase Hunt said in a press conference, according to KHOU. "They took care of you their whole life and you are going to let them lose their house?"
At the time, Hunt said that he expected Paschal was still in the area, but U.S. Marshals told KTRK this month that the last credible sighting of the fugitive was in Green Bay, Wisconsin. No further leads on his whereabouts have been revealed.
Savannah Paschal's former employer, Forest Park East Funeral Home and Cemetery, is holding a charity 5K race on the anniversary of her death, according to KTRK. Proceeds will benefit the domestic violence resource center Bay Area Turning Point and the Savannah Paschal Scholarship at Disciple Oak Camp and Retreat.
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