Sunday, August 5, 2012

Las Vegas, NV: Man allegedly tells slain wife's boyfriend: 'You're gonna die'

Police say 44-year-old Las Vegas father, Troy White, shot and killed the mother of his children, and attempted to kill his estranged wife’s new boyfriend last Friday at the home they previously shared together.

On July 27, police said they received a 911 call after the slain mother’s 9-year-old son ran to a neighbor’s house and said his mother had been shot, according to a police press release.

When police arrived at the home, they said they found 29-year-old Echo White and her boyfriend, Joseph Averman, suffering from gunshot wounds. White was pronounced dead at the University Medical Center a short time later, but her boyfriend survived.

Averman, the surviving victim, told HLN’s Nancy Grace he was shot once in the right arm, and twice in the abdomen. One of the shots, according to Averman, severed his hip.

On the day of the shooting, White allegedly came to the home and asked to speak with Echo in private, and “seemed a little upset” because she wasn’t answering his repeated phone calls and text messages, Averman told HLN.

Echo agreed to speak with White in the back room, Averman told police, according to the affidavit. Meanwhile, Averman said he was taking care of a baby in the room next door.

Averman told HLN that after about five minutes, he heard Echo yelling, “Troy don’t, please just stop!” When Averman opened the door, he told police he saw White shove Echo and shoot her once in the chest or stomach, according to the affidavit. Averman told authorities White then turned and shot him, causing him to fall to the ground.

“Everything happened so quick,” Averman told HLN. “I thought she was only shot once and me twice, but she was shot twice and I was shot three times…all the kids were screaming.”

The police affidavit states Averman told authorities he laid on the floor while White kept coming into the residence and threatening him. Averman told HLN that at one point, White put the gun to his forehead and said, “If I’m gonna go to prison, you’re gonna die.” Averman also told police White asked him “How does it feel now?” according to the affidavit.

Averman claims Echo’s 9-year-old son ran across the street and told a neighbor to call 911. “We heard sirens,” Averman said. “He [White] just ran off.”

Police say White then fled in his estranged wife’s Silver Dodge Durango and drove to Arizona. White later turned himself in more than six hours later in Prescott, Arizona, investigators said.

The police affidavit states that when officers apprehended White, he told police “the gun used to shoot the people in Las Vegas was in the Dodge Durango in the spare tire compartment.”

Echo’s mother, Amber Gaines, told HLN that in the weeks leading up to the shooting, her daughter wanted to divorce White. “He was very jealous and controlling,” Gaines said. “He didn’t want her to wear makeup or dress up cute…didn’t want her to be herself.”

The relationship between her daughter and White, according to Gaines, became turbulent when White allegedly began sending Echo “threatening, horrible, horrible messages like ‘I’m going to kill you,’ and ‘I’m going to kill you and the kids.’”

Gaines told HLN she told her daughter she was concerned she’d get a phone call saying White came in and killed her and the kids. Just two days before the fatal shooting, Gaines said her daughter told her, “Mom, that’s not going to happen.”

White is now facing charges including murder with the use of a deadly weapon, attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon, and burglary while in the possession of a deadly weapon. He is waiting to be extradited back to Nevada on August 6. Repeated attempts to reach an attorney representing Troy White were unsuccessful.

“He should spend the rest of his life in prison,” Averman told HLN. “She had the most beautiful smile that lit up a room. I realized she was my soul mate. Physically I will heal, but mentally I will never be the same.”

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