Six children and two adults have been found dead inside a Houston-area home and the 49-year-old man charged has a long criminal history that includes violence.
David Conley, 49, was charged with three counts of capital murder after the discovery of the bodies. One capital murder count covers multiple deaths. He was being held Sunday in Harris County Jail. Bond has not yet been set.
The victims ranged in age from 6 to 50 years. Prosecutors and police said that a 40-year-old female victim had a prior relationship with Conley.
The children, two girls and four boys, were ages 13, 11, 10, 9, 7 and 6. At least one of those was believed to be Conley's child, they said.
Court records show Conley's criminal history dates back until at least 1988, with the most recent incident last month, when was charged with assault of a family member. In court documents, authorities say the suspect had been arrested for allegedly assaulting the woman he was living with at the home where the bodies were found.
Court documents say that in the incident last month Conley pushed the woman's head against a refrigerator multiple times after she tried to stop him from disciplining her son with a belt. The case was still pending.
In 2013, he was charged with aggravated assault for threatening the same woman with a knife. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in the county jail.
In 2000, he was arrested for retaliation, accused of putting a knife to his then-girlfriend, threatening to kill her, her baby and himself. That came after she filed an assault charge for cutting her with a knife and punching her in the face. He was sentenced to five years in prison for retaliation.
On Sunday morning, the area around the Houston-area home where the bodies were found was still cordoned off, with sheriff's deputies coming in and out of the house and the medical examiner's office having arrived at the scene.
Neighbor Dalila Mercado says when she arrived home last night officers had already blocked off the area. She said she was sitting in her driveway when she heard gunshots coming from the house and officials then told her and her family to go inside their home.
Mercado said she could still see from her bedroom window and watched as a man was escorted out of the house after midnight. She said officials then had him next to her fence, taking fingerprints and photographs.
She says, "It was shocking. I haven't slept all night."