3 men arrested for capital murder in quadruple homicide, given $1 million bond each


NEW SUMMERFIELD, Texas (KETK) – Three people have been arrested in connection to the New Summerfield quadruple murder.

The suspects names are 20-year-old Jesse Pawlowski, 21-year-old Dylan Welch, and 37-year-old Billy Phillips. They are all charged with capital murder. Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said that the motive appears to be a robbery “as of this time” over clothes and guns.

2nd District Court Judge Chris Day arraigned the three suspects around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and each man was given a $1 million bond. Day said the cases have not been assigned to a specific court yet.

The only other district court in Cherokee County is the 369th, which is presided over by Judge Michael Davis.

Pawlowski and Phillips do have a criminal history, according to Dickson. He could not say what they had previously been arrested for. One has confessed to being involved. Dickson said that a 9-millimeter gun was used in the shooting.

The victims have been identified as:

  • 18-year-old John Clinton
  • 39-year-old Amanda Bain
  • 39-year-old Ami Hickey
  • 47-year-old Jeff Gerla

Hickey and Clinton were mother and son. Gerla and Clinton were in a relationship together as well as Hickey and Bane. Despite the two same-sex relationships, Dickson says the primary motive appears to be a robbery rather than a hate crime. Clothes and guns were taken from the scene.

KETK News obtained the 911 call that came from Jacqueline Gerla, the elderly mother of Jeff Gerla. The audio shows that she saw Clinton laying in the driveway, saying “…the boy that’s been living with my son. I think he’s dead.”

It appeared from the call that Gerla was unaware that the shooting had taken place. It lasts two minutes and 56 seconds and was made around 7:55 a.m.

Deputies arrived at the scene at 8:20 a.m. and later found the other three victims shot in a mobile home that was behind Jacqueline Gerla’s house. To listen to the 911 call, click below. Viewer discretion is advised.

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