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'Deeply Distressing': Texas Man Kills Elderly Parents After Mother Tries to Give Him Sleeping Pill, Cops Say

Texas Man Accused of Killing His Parents Over Sleeping Pill Argument
Source: Williamson County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

A fight over a sleeping pill ended with Seth Carnes allegedly fatally shooting his elderly parents, officials said.

Jan. 12 2024, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

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A Texas man has been arrested after he allegedly admitted to shooting his 74-year-old parents after his mother tried to give him a sleeping pill, authorities said.

Around 11:45 p.m. on Jan. 8, deputies responded to a home in Walburg in references to a shooting, according to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

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The 19-year-old daughter of Seth Carnes, 45, reportedly called 911 and said her father had shot her grandfather, an arrest affidavit obtained by KEYE-TV states.

On the scene, the alleged shooter exited the home with one hand up and his other hand holding a coffee mug, officials said.

Authorities said Seth Carnes copped to killing his mother, Susan Carnes, and his father, Alfred “Burt” Carnes, a retired former District Court judge. The suspect reportedly was living in a garage apartment attached to the home.

According to the affidavit, officers found Burt Carnes dead on the living room floor and Susan Carnes in her son’s bedroom in the garage apartment. Medics unsuccessfully tried to save bot shooting victims.

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Investigators said they believe the suspect and his parents got into a “disagreement, escalating into family violence and death.”

Seth Carnes reportedly told police that his mother tried to give him a sleeping pill and he “did not want to take it,” but provided no clear motive for the shooting.

Elderly Victim

When asked why he allegedly killed his father, he said he’d gone into the house to look for something “and figured I would finish it off,” authorities said.

Carnes was arrested and charged with capital murder, officials said. He was booked into the Williamson County Jail and was being held without bond.

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In a statement, Commander John Foster of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division said, "This deeply distressing incident has sent shockwaves through our community, particularly considering Alfred 'Burt' Carnes’ esteemed position as a retired District Judge."

Dan Gattis Jr., a former state representative and former prosecutor, told the Austin American-Statesman that Susan Carnes was a retired elementary school teacher who volunteered at her grandchildren’s school.

“She was a pillar of the community,” Gattis said. “She was always kind and helpful.”


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