Police in Houston say they can't "fully comprehend the motivation" of a man who allegedly slaughtered eight people in their home on Saturday, but David Conley has told them that he did it because his ex-girlfriend, Valerie Jackson, changed the locks. The victims have been identified as Jackson, her husband Dewayne, and children Nathaniel, 13; Honesty, 11; Dewayne, 10; Caleb, 9; Trinity, 7; and Jonah, 6. Police say Conley has told them he broke in and handcuffed the victims before shooting them in the head, KHOU reports. At least one of the children, Nathaniel, is believed to be Conley's. It's not clear when the pair split up, but Conley was charged with assault last month after allegedly attacking Jackson and threatening to beat one of her sons with a belt, reports USA Today.
Court records show that Conley, 48, has a criminal record going back to 1988 and has served time in prison at least twice for attacks on Jackson, including a 2000 assault in which he cut her neck and wrapped a rope around her baby's throat, the Houston Chronicle reports. Her brother tells the Chronicle that police were called Saturday morning after Conley arrived at the home "armed and angry," and that they should have "kicked down that door instantly" given the couple's history. Instead, police say they saw nothing amiss during three welfare checks, but they arrested Conley after a standoff when they saw a body through a window at around 9pm. He has been charged with multiple counts of capital murder and is being held without bail. (Read more Houston stories.)