David Ray Conley, who Houston police say has confessed to murdering his ex-girlfriend, her husband, and six children (including his own son), has tried out a novel defense—telling a local radio station that his ex was raising his children to be “monsters” and “disrespectful.” Conley also insisted he loved his own son “to death.”
Conley, 49, was taken into custody after an hours-long standoff at the Houston home, and has been charged with three counts of capital murder for the August 8 slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Valerie Jackson, her husband Dewayne, and her six children, including 13-year-old Nate, Conley’s only son. He spoke with KPRC 2 in a jailhouse interview, in which he called Valerie “no good Samaritan” and complained that women in general treat him unfairly because he has a criminal record.
During the interview, KPRC says, Conley refused to admit guilt for the killings, although police said Sunday that he had confessed, telling them he snuck in through an unlocked window, handcuffed everyone in the house and shot them to death. Instead, he spent the interview elaborating on the ways he felt Valerie had failed as a parent:
“Did you say anything to your son, your only son, before he died?” asked KPRC 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.
“I love Nate. I love Nate to death,” Conley said.
Conley then said he was concerned his son was having “behavior problems.”
“Nate didn’t give me any respect because of what his mother was doing to me,” Conley said. “She was cheating on me.”
Conley also said he felt Valerie Jackson’s husband, Dwayne Jackson, was “harassing” him.
“He tried to pimp out over me and take everything, rule over my house. How would you feel?” Conley said. “Dwayne was a monster and Valerie, she was no Good Samaritan either, they did evil things all the time.”
Conley also said he didn’t feel the children were being raised properly.
“They were growing up to be monsters, they were disrespectful, rude in school. I’m not saying they’re dead because of that. I’m not even saying I killed them.” Conley said. “God says in the Bible do not disrespect your mother and father or your days will be short, but I’m not saying that’s what happened.”
Jackson had made numerous domestic violence complaints against Conley, according to the Associated Press. He served five years in prison for retaliation after a 2000 incident in which he put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her, their baby, and himself. In 2013, he served nine months in county jail for threatening her again with a knife. On July 8, he was arrested on assault charges for pushing Jacksons’s head against a refrigerator after she stopped him from beating Nate with a belt. That case was still pending when the family died, with the next court date set for September.
To KPRC, Conley dismissed the previous charges against him as “all lies.”
Conley’s booking photo. Screengrab via KPRC 2