The wife of a Texas middle school teacher accused of gunning down two of his neighbors after a Halloween party helped to cover up her husband’s alleged crime, police say.
Tiffany Heath, 29, was charged Thursday with tampering with evidence, the Fort Worth Police Department said.
Her husband, Cary Heath, 35, is facing capital murder charges in the deaths of Phillip Garcia (also known as Phillip Evans) and Daniel Haros. The 25-year-old men were shot to death in the early morning hours of October 23 in the Fort Worth neighborhood where they lived a few doors down from the Heaths.
Police say Cary Heath shot the two men using an “assault rifle” and then beat them both with the butt of the weapon, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tiffany Heath Is Accused of Cleaning Up Blood on Her Husband’s Gun Safe & Hiding a Rifle Magazine, Police Say
Tiffany Heath is accused of trying to help clean up after her husband following the shootings of Phillip Garcia and Daniel Haros, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Tiffany Heath told police, “Cary admitted to her that he was responsible for the two murders. Cary asked her to clean the blood in the gun safe where he kept his firearms,” according to the court documents released after her husband was arrested.
She also told investigators her husband asked her to hide a rifle magazine with green bullets under the bed in their bedroom, the Star-Telegram reports.
“Tiffany Heath admitted to Detective Sullivan that she cleaned the gun safe and that she hid a rifle magazine under the bed in the master bedroom,” Pate wrote, according to the newspaper.
While they were searching the Heaths’ house, investigators said they found evidence that an effort had been made to clean up blood in the gun safe and also found that a rifle magazine had been concealed under the bed.
The detective wrote he “believes that Tiffany Heath knew that an investigation was being conducted in regards to the murders that Cary Heath committed” and “intentionally attempted to destroy and conceal evidence of said murders,” according to the Star-Telegram.
The Fort Worth Police Department said they began investigating the double homicide at 828 Buffalo Springs Drive about 4 a.m. on October 23, according to the arrest affidavit filed by detectives.
Police responded to the home and found two men who had been shot dead.
You can read the affidavit below:
The 911 caller said multiple gunshots had been heard outside their house.
“After the gunshots stopped (the caller) opened the door and saw a white male standing over Daniel (Haros) and was striking him with the butt of the rifle,” according to the affidavit. “(The caller) yelled for the suspect to stop and the suspect pointed the weapon,” at the caller and asked if they “had a problem.”
Another neighbor told detectives he had a “small Halloween gathering at his house” on the night of October 22 and early morning of October 23. The man said Heath and his wife, Tiffany Heath, were at the party.
“While everyone stood in the front yard, his neighbors (Daniel Haros, Phillip Evans and two others) came over to visit for less than five minutes,” according to the affidavit. “According to (the party host) the conversation was friendly and cordial.”
The party host said after Haros, Evans and the others went back home, “Tiffany Heath went back into his house as Cary walked next door to his house.”
The witness said he heard “multiple gunshots” a few minutes later, and Heath ran into the house and gave his 1-year-old baby to a person whose name was redacted in the document, saying, “This is the last time I will see the baby. I killed two people.”
Heath then ran out of the house, according to the affidavit.
Tiffany Heath “then ran outside and a short time later came back to (the house where the party was) and told them that she saw a dead person in the driveway across the street.”
She told police “after hearing the gunshots her husband, Cary, told her that someone was dead across the street. Tiffany walked across the street and saw a dead person in the driveway across the street.
Police said they found multiple rifles in Heath’s house.
Many questions about what led up the shooting remain unanswered. Police have said Heath is not cooperating with investigator. It is not clear if a motive for the shooting has been established.
The two men died of multiple gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma, police said.
2. She Started a GoFundMe Account Saying She Needs Help ‘Raising Her Boys Alone’
Tiffany Heath started a GoFundMe crowdfunding account in the days after the murder, asking for help in her “time of need.” The page is titled, “Mom needs help raising boys alone.” She had raised $2,875 of her $6,000 goal at the time of her arrest. The account was taken down Thursday after she was arrested.
“I am a mother of 3. My family and I have recently suffered from a very unfortunate event, which has left us in a time of need,” she wrote on the page. “I have been raising my three boys on my own, and take care of everything financially. I am doing the best I can but I am struggling to keep up. Every little bit is extremely appreciated in our time of need.”
Tiffany and Cary Heath have been married since 2012.
The families of the two men killed in the shooting, Phillip Garcia and Daniel Haros, also set up a GoFundMe page that had raised more than $8,000 by Thursday.
3. She Was Booked Into Jail on $5,000 Bail & Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison
Tiffany Heath was booked into the Mansfield Jail on Thursday and held on $5,000 bail, KTVT-TV reports.
The news station initially reported she was being held on $100,000 bail.
She is charged with tampering with evidence. According to Texas law, the charge is a third-degree felony.
Tiffany Heath is facing between two to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Her husband, Cary Heath, is being held on $1 million bail at the Mansfield Jail on capital murder charges.
He faces the death penalty if convicted of the murders, WFAA-TV reports.
4. Her Husband Went to Teach at the Middle School Where He Works the Morning After the Killings, Police Say
Heath went to work at Permenter Middle School in Cedar Hill the morning after the shooting, KTVT-TV reports. He was not arrested until the afternoon in the parking lot of the school.
Heath has been placed on administrative leave by the school district.
According to the Cedar Hill ISD website, Heath is in his first year of teaching at the school. He teaches eighth grade science.
Heath is the father of four children.
He is a member of the Texas Air National Guard, the Dallas Morning News reports. He previously served in the Air Force.
According to his Linkedin profile, Heath joined the Air Force in December 2007 and is an avionics technician in the Air National Guard.
He also worked as an audio technician at a local audio and visual company from November 2001 to June 2008.
Heath studied kinesiology and exercise sciences at the University of Texas at Arlington and mechanical engineering at Tarrant County College.
5. The Mother of One of the Men Heath Is Accused of Killing Says They Were ‘Defenseless & Unarmed’
Phillip Garcia, also known as Phillip Evans, and Daniel Haros, both 25, were childhood friends and roommates at Haros’ mother’s house, KHOU-TV reports.
Garcia’s mother, Paige Hudson Garcia, wrote on Facebook, “Our sons were defenseless and unarmed (in their ‘pajamas’ in the front yard of their home) – truly innocent victims by all accounts, in every sense of the word.”
She said, “The murderer did not know our sons, the shooting was completely senseless (almost random) but he is NOT remorseful (which is how he was caught).”
Destinee Barry, a friend from high school, told KHOU about Haros and Garcia, “If you see one, you would always see the other. They were inseparable.”
Christina Aguirre, another friend, told the news station, “They didn’t deserve any of that, and now this. I mean, they touched so many people and, like, I just wish that he knew what he took from all of us.”
Discuss on Facebook