The Texas judicial system wasted no time in sentencing Clyde Hedrick’s after finding him guilty on Friday for the murder of Ellen Beason.
Sentencing is under way and the same jury that found him guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter will decide what his sentence should be for that crime. But in making that decision there is a lot of information this jury will never know.
Key information was omitted from the testimony of Max Stevenson, a former cell-mate of Clyde Hedrick’s who testified that Clyde confessed to him behind bars, to killing Ellen Beason. What sparked this conversation between cellmates is very interesting and possibly connects Hedricks to other murders. And this missing information is the reason why I have been referencing the “Killing Fields” throughout this entire trial.
Tim Miller’s organization, Texas Equusearch, was inspired by his own daughters disappearance and murder and his frustration at not getting answers or assistance from law enforcement. His organization is devoted to searching for missing people and relies solely on donations and volunteers. One of those volunteers is a man named Vernon Armentor, he was Tim’s daughter Laura’s boyfriend at the time she was murdered and because of this, Tim always had a certain sense of fondness for Vern. That is, until it was discovered that, just last year, Vern had been using a TES bank card to withdrawal unauthorized funds, to the tune of $7,000. Vern was charged and served almost a year in jail and the story , much to the dismay of Miller and his organization, made local headlines.
All this happened in June of 2013, the same time Clyde was in jail with Max Stevenson. And it was this headline that sparked the conversation about Ellen Beason.
So what’s the connection?
According to court documents, Max Stevenson alleges that a newspaper with the headline about the Vern/Texas Equusearch incident and a response from Tim Miller was present when (and actually what sparked) Clyde Hedrick’s admitting to killing Ellen Beason. Allegedly Clyde told Stevenson and 2 other inmates that he had sex with and willingly murdered Millers daughter Laura and admitted to them he also killed Heidi Fye and Ellen Beason; Information the jury was forbidden to hear. Outside the presence of the jury, right before a handcuffed Max Stevenson was to testify, he was given strict instructions from the state not to discuss the article, or make any mention of the statements Hedrick’s made about him having sex with and killing Laura Miller or Heidi Fye. Although prosecutors even alluded to these other crimes in state documents, it seems this information, sadly, has no place or bearing on this trial, even in the sentencing phase.
However, family members of both Laura Miller and Heidi Fye, who have been in court everyday including today for sentencing, hold out hope that somehow there will also be justice for the crimes they believe Hedrick’s committed against their loved ones. Justice for the murders of Laura Miller and Heidi Fye.