Timothy Dean: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Timothy Dean & Charlene Childers

Wayne County Sheriff\'s Office Timothy Dean and Charlene Childers

Timothy Dean was a former police chief in Texas who is now serving a life sentence for killing a young couple after his wife, Charlene Childers, plotted the murder. Joshua Niles and Amber Washburn were shot outside their home in upstate New York in front of their 4-year-old son.

Dean and Childers met in Texas when they were both working for the Dumas Police Department in 2016. At the time, they were both in relationships with other people. She was a dog catcher and he was a police officer. He later became chief of the Sunray Police Department, which is in a small town in Texas, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Childers admitted in court she asked her husband to kill Niles, local news outlets reported. She had recently lost custody of her two children to Niles and Washburn. Niles was her ex-boyfriend and the father of her children.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Timothy Dean Was a Former Law Enforcement Officer & Met His Wife When They Worked At the Same Police Station


Charlene Childers and her future husband and murder co-conspirator, Timothy Dean, met when they were both working for the same police department in Texas. Dean was a police officer and Childers was a dog catcher when they met at Dumas Police Department in 2016. At the time, they were both in relationships with other people, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Dean later became police chief of Sunray Police Department, which is also in Texas, the newspaper reported.

Childers made a statement at trial saying she told Dean to murder the Niles, according to WHAM.

In a statement during the trial, Childers said, “I told him the murder needed to happen and I couldn’t take it anymore being away from my kids.”

Sunray is a small town in the Texas panhandle with a population of about 2,000 people.

2. Childers Admitted in Court She Asked Dean to Kill Niles Because He Won Custody of Her Children

Charlene Childers

Charlene Childers

Charlene Childers, Josh Niles’ ex-girlfriend, is in prison for conspiring with her husband, Timothy Dean, to have Joshua Niles murdered. Amber Washburn, Niles’ girlfriend, was also killed.

Charlene Childers DOC

New York Department of CorrectionsCharlene Childers records

Childers, who is now 26, was convicted of possession of a weapon and manslaughter, according to the New York Department of Corrections. She was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Charlene Childers DOC 2

Charlene Childers’ records

She was convicted and faces a lengthy sentence. Her projected release date is not until October 25, 2042, according to prison records. She is incarcerated in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where she has been since July 3, 2019.

charlene childers vine link

Charlene Childers’ custody records

Childers and Niles had a son and a daughter together. They are named Gabby and Bently. The children are now 10 and 8, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. Niles’ sister, Nicole Gunkel, is raising the children in Newark, New York.

Niles and Washburn had temporary custody of Gabriel and Bently. Childers told Dateline Washburn served as a good second mom and loved Childers’ children.

Childers admitted that she planned to murder the 28-year-old Josh Niles after the couple won custody of her children, according to Syracuse.com. Niles was Childers’ ex-boyfriend.

“What I did was wrong and I regret it every single day,” Childers said in Wayne County Court during her sentencing, the news outlet reported. “I would like to apologize for my wrongs… I realize that saying sorry doesn’t bring them back. Because of my selfishness, I ruined my children’s lives.”

3. Dean Was Charged With Abusing His Step-Children & His Wife Lost Custody to Her Ex, Josh Niles

Josh Niles Kids

GoFundMeJosh Niles Kids

Childers lost custody of her children to her ex-boyfriend, Josh Niles, and his girlfriend, Amber Washburn, after her husband was charged with felony child abuse in May 2018. Washburn and Niles were granted temporary custody of the children, Gabby and Bently, who were 9 and 7 at the time of the murder.

Childers also lost custody of her youngest child, who went to live with his father in another Texas town. Dean also lost custody of his daughter, who went to live with her mother in a nearby Texas city, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Childers testified at her husband’s trial, saying she regretted her actions. The murder was plotted because Washburn and Niles were granted custody of the children, according to WHAM.

4. Dean & Childers Married Only 7 Months Before They Plotted to Murder Niles

Joshua Niles & Amber Washburn

GunMemorial.orgJoshua Niles and Amber Washburn

Tim Dean and Charlene Childers Met in 2016 when they were both working for the Dumas Police Department in Texas. They were both married to other people at the time, and both had children of their own. She was working as a dog catcher, and he was working as a police officer. He later worked his way through the ranks, and he was hired as police chief of the Sunray Police Deparment in Sunray, Texas, a small town of about 2,000 people, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

The couple was married in March 2018. Childers had two children with Josh Hiles, and Dean and Childers moved into a Sunray home together to become a blended family of six, the newspaper reported. Childers also had a younger child by another father.

Dean also had a child, who lived in the home in Sunray, Texas with her stepmother and father.

5. Tim Dean Is Serving a Life Sentence in a New York Prison

timothy dean records

Timothy Dean’s prison records

Timothy Dean is incarcerated in New York, where he is serving a life sentence in the murders of 24-year-old Amber Washburn and 28-year-old Joshua Hiles, according to court records. Dean was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Childers, who admitted in court she was the mastermind behind the plot, is serving 28 years in prison.

Timothy Dean prison 2

Timothy Dean’s conviction records.

Dean is 33 years old. He is incarcerated at the Clinton Correctional Facility, where he has been held since September 20, 2019.

Timothy Dean prison records

Timothy Dean’s prison records.

His prison records from the New York Department of Corrections show he was convicted of charges including first-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy.

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