crimes

Jacksonville, Texas’s Dylan Welch shot Jeff Gerla, Ami Hickey, Amanda Bain, John Clinton in New Summerfield?

Billy Phillips (©Cherokee County Sheriff's Office)
Billy Phillips (©Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office)

Jeff Gerla, 47, Ami Hickey, 39, Amanda Bain, 39, and John Clinton, 18, were fatally shot at a residence north of New Summerfield, Cherokee County, Texas, United States. A 9-millimeter gun was used to shoot them, according to Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson.

One of the suspects was Billy Phillips, 37, of Jacksonville, Cherokee County. In June 2021, he was arrested on charges of failing to comply with sex offender duty to register.

On July 20, 2021, Phillips and his fellow Jacksonville residents Dylan Welch, 21, and Jesse Pawlowski, 20, allegedly went to a residence in New Summerfield, stole clothing, guns and a 2017 Dodge Challenger from the residence and fatally shot Gerla, Hickey, Bain and Clinton. Before the day ended, the three suspects were arrested in Jacksonville.

“I believe the robbery was planned and the murder was spontaneous,” Longview News-Journal quoted Dickson as saying. “Our citizens are definitely safe now that these individuals are off the streets. We’re going to do everything we can to keep them safe.”

Clinton is Hickey’s son. He was dating Gerla while she was dating Bain.

Dickson described the quadruple homicide as a senseless killing. He said although the victims were in same-sex relationships, the primary motive appears to be a robbery rather than a hate crime.

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Phillips and Pawlowski are friends. Welch is their associate.

Like Phillips, Pawlowski has a previous arrest. In October 2019, Pawlowski was arrested on burglary charges.

On July 21, 2021, Phillips, Welch and Pawlowski were booked into the Cherokee County Jail in Rusk, Cherokee County on bonds of $1 million each. If convicted, they could face life in jail or the death penalty.

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