MARIETTA — Formal charges were filed in Love County District Court against the man accused of killing a pair of relatives on their rural Simon property a week ago.
Aaron Carlile, made an initial court appearance on two-counts of first-degree murder. The charges allege the Overbrook man used a ".44 caliber single action revolver" to murder his father-in-law, Thomas "Sonny" Culwell, 78, and his aunt, Almenia Culwell, 80. Assistant District Attorney Tim Burson said Carlile was ordered held without bond in the Love County Jail. A preliminary hearing is set for July 23.
Carlile was arrested by OSBI agents Wednesday afternoon following an interview conducted at the Carter County Sheriff's Department. Carlile is reported to have confessed to the double murders. The slayings were apparently fueled by a long-standing feud with his father-in-law. Carter County deputies assisted Love County deputies and OSBI agents earlier in the day in executing two search warrants. Evidence gathered during those probes produced what was described as "backing up his (Carlilie's) story."
A search of state court records reveal the 65-year-old son-law-law has no prior felony criminal history.
The senior citizen siblings owned hundreds of acres of land in the Simon area. The brother and sister lived on the property where they died. They were shot to death about 1 1/2 miles from their rural residence while working to repair a fence. Their bodies were discovered about 10:30 p.m., after Almenia Culwell's disabled son appealed to coon hunter friends to search for his mother and uncle because they had not returned home. Carlile also resided on the family-owned land.
Shortly after Carlile was taken into custody Wednesday, District Attorney Craig Ladd praised OSBI agents for the concentrated efforts that brought a swift conclusion to the case.
"I'm really impressed with the OSBI — Bob Horn and the other agents involved in this investigation. I'm very appreciative of how quickly they worked, both in their investigation and getting the reports to my office," Ladd said.
Friends and acquaintances of the slain siblings continue to voice shock over their deaths. Both the brother and sister were repeatedly described as "nice, quiet people." Funeral services for the pair are scheduled for 10 a.m. today in Simon Cemetery.