3News has obtained an arrest affidavit detailing how police have tied 27-year old David Strickland to the 2012 double shooting of Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa at Violet Andrews Park in Portland.
According to the arrest affidavit, the big break in the case came on June 12, when the family of Kristene Chapa discovered a letter in the mail at their home in Sinton. The letter blamed another person for the double shooting, which happened June 22, 2012, and claimed the life of Olgin.
That letter provided details of the case that had not yet been released to the public, and investigators determined that the man accused in the letter could not have been involved in the 2012 shootings. Investigators also noted that the letter was wrapped in a zip-lock bag with the following words etched into it: "I was told to deliver this or die. I can't find her. Plz help."
The affidavit states that Chapa's family members had spotted a black sedan driving away from their home the day the letter was delivered. Police said that David Strickland and his wife, Laura, owned a black sedan. They then traced David Strickland's cell phone through GPS and found that it had been in that area at the time that the letter was delivered.
The same day the letter was delivered, Portland Police Chief Gary Giles contacted Assistant Police Chief Swanson of the Layton Police Department in Utah. Swanson said that the man accused in the letter was involved in four different police reports, including one that accused Strickland of stealing firearms from him. Strickland and the man accused in the letter were friends prior to the 2012 shootings.
According to the affidavit, Strickland currently faces felony charges in Utah for burglarizing the accused man's home. He was arrested in Utah in early 2014 by the Layton Police Department. Evidence seized from his vehicle was given to the Portland Police Department after it was determined to be of value to their homicide investigation.
Included in that evidence was: a Glock .45 firearm and magazines; a Kimber .45 firearm and magazines; an after-market barrel and suppressor; Underarmor gloves; Federal .45 auto ammunition; and a backpack containing a condom, personal lubricant, flex handcuffs, an expandable baton, bolt cutters, pepper spray, a head lamp, an Underarmor glove, a knife, handcuffs, firearms holsters, a lock pick kit, chemical lights, a tourniquet and a magnesium fire starter.
The affidavit goes on to state that the man accused in the letter was interviewed by police and had the documentation necessary to show that he was not in Portland at the time of the shootings. He was also asked about a photograph of him that was included in the letter, and told police that the photograph was taken by Laura Strickland, and that he did not have access to the photo because he is not friends with Laura on Facebook. He also noted that the photo included in the letter was cropped, and the original showed him next to David Strickland.
Police also interviewed the mother of the man accused in the letter. She told them that Strickland said he had killed people before, and that he claimed to be a "hit man." When he told her this, the mother said Laura Strickland came downstairs and told David to "shut the **** up."
With new information linking Strickland to the Portland shootings, officers received consent to test fire a handgun belonging to Strickland. They found that the shell casings matched the weapon used in the shooting of Olgin and Chapa.
According to the affidavit, just five days after the 2012 shootings at Violet Andrews Park, Strickland went to the Portland Police Department on his own volition to provide information, telling police that he had been transferring guns from his car to his home in Portland when he spotted a white passenger car driving down East Bayview the night of the shootings.
That same day, Strickland approached a group of people at the crime scene who were in mourning, telling them that Laura, his girlfriend at the time, knew one of the victims. A witness there said that Strickland was searching the grass near the crime scene.
Strickland and his wife were arrested Friday in Helotes, Texas, by U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers. They have since been extradited to the San Patricio County Jail, where David Strickland faces charges of capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated sexual assault. Laura Strickland has been charged with tampering with evidence.
Bond was denied for both David and Laura Strickland.