According to the Midland County Sheriff's Office, 21-year-old Stephen Craig Whitworth and 24-year-old Paul Curtis Lee of El Paso are being charged with murder for the death of 25-year old Christopher Aaron Easley. They are also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for supposedly stabbing a woman and leaving her to bleed to death on South County Road 1210. Bond is set at $1,000,000 for just the murder charges and an additional $250,000 for aggravated assault. Easley's body has been sent to Tarrant County for an autopsy. On Tuesday, Big 2 went to Easley's neighborhood, where neighbors are still shocked by yesterdays brutal chain of events.
When we were knocking on doors Tuesday, it was apparent that this is a tight knit community. Neighbors gave us a glimpse into who Christopher Easley was, and into why this might have happened to him. Big 2 walked door to door, and neighbors had the same reaction to news that Christopher Easley had been murdered.
"He was such a sweet kid," said a neighbor. "It broke my heart to hear this."
"It was just a really big shock to know that he lived right across the street," said another neighbor. "It's pretty crazy."
"It was hard to believe," said neighbor James Lister. "He was a nice guy as far as I knew."
His home that he shared with his parents in this quiet midland neighborhood, sits empty. His car is parked right along the road, and neighbors say they saw Easley often, not always in the best circumstances. James Lister, who lives nearby, believes Easley might have made someone angry.
"Evidently he got cuddled with the wrong people," said Lister. "And they must have got upset to kill him, real upset."
But our facebook painted us a picture of another side to Easley. Easley's sister wrote on our fan page, "He is my children's uncle and my friend, he was a good man and had so much left to live for." One neighbor told us he was trying to change his life.
"He was talking about going to fort worth," said a neighbor. "And he was looking forward to it, a fresh start kind of thing."
The mystery still remains as to why Easley and his girlfriend were left to die in these bushes. And neighbors can't believe this happened to one of them.
"Not knowing exactly what happened," said a neighbor. "Is kind of uneasy."
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter told us that Easley does have a history of run-ins with the law. He's been arrested five or six times for possession of marijuana, DWI, and public intoxication. His girlfriend, who's name has not been released, remains at Midland Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Jackie Smith can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.