Aaron Carlile was bound over for trial Tuesday on charges he shot and killed two elderly relatives on their rural Simon property May 3.
Carlile appeared for preliminary hearing before Associate District Judge Charles Roberts in Love County District Court. He was accompanied by his court-appointed attorney, Melanie Blackburn. Proceedings were minimal. District Attorney Craig Ladd called only two witnesses to testify — OSBI agents Marvin Akers and David Seals.
Akers, the 2012 OSBI Agent of the Year, testified that during the investigation of the murders of Carlile's father-in-law, Thomas "Sonny" Culwell, 78, and Culwell's sister, Almenia Culwell, 80, he recovered a gun from Carlile's daughter's residence. Subsequent ballistics tests revealed the gun was the murder weapon. Seals testified that during an interview with Carlile, the 65-year-old defendant confessed to murdering the siblings.
The motive for the murders was apparently fueled by a long-standing feud between Carlile and his father-in-law. Reports indicate the Overbrook man shot his father-in-law first, and then turned the weapon on the man's sister in order to eliminate the only witness to the crime.
The bodies of the brother and sister were found near their pickup about 10:30 p.m. on May 3 near a fence they had been repairing on their property. Love County Sheriff Joe Russell said at the time the pair was discovered by coon hunters after Almenia Culwell's son, who is disabled, became concerned they had not returned home.
"He said they had gone out to fix some fence. When they didn't come back, he got worried and called some buddies who were out coon hunting. He asked them to search for them. He told them (hunters) the area they were suppose to be in," Russell said.
Within hours of the discovery of the victims, Russell enlisted the assistance of OSBI and the Carter County Sheriff's Department in investigating the case. Six days later, Carlile was arrested by OSBI agents and booked into the Love County Jail. The Overbrook man was subsequently charged with two counts of first-degree murder and ordered held without bond.
Tuesday, Roberts ruled he found probable cause to believe Carlile had committed the double murders. He was returned to the Love County Jail where he remains detained without bond pending formal arraignment and his trial.