A recording captured audio of an incident where Casey Devol allegedly killed his sister and her boyfriend in rural Douglas County, according to prosecutors.
“What we have are recorded statements of the murder itself which were made by one of the victims,” said Andrew Steers, a chief deputy district attorney.
He added: “It’s clearly a recording of the incident. It’s clearly a recording of the murder.”
The existence of the recorder was not known, Steers said, until the autopsy in the case that left Jessica Mitchell, 32, and Bryan Todd Gray, 34, dead in the Franktown area. They were discovered in February 2022 in a garage adjacent to a house they lived in on Russellville Road. Mitchell was Devol’s sister.
Authorities don’t know why someone chose to record the interaction, Steers said during a March 22 hearing in Douglas County District Court.
The recording captured the events leading up to the murder: Three people appeared to be having a dinner and at one point talked about a birthday gift, Steers said. At some point, the man authorities say is Devol leaves and returns and kills the other two people and a dog.
The audio “goes on for a long period of time, recording just silence at certain points,” Steers said. The recorder eventually died and was recovered as authorities investigated, according to Steers.
The recording “settles as fact whether the defendant acted in self-defense, whether he was intoxicated, whether there was an argument beforehand,” Steers said, arguing that the audio contradicts what Devol told authorities.
“There were no threats,” Steers said.
Mitchell was found with a “digital recorder device,” according to her autopsy report.
A coworker of Gray’s discovered him and Mitchell in the Russellville Road garage at about 1:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 2022.
Located in Kansas
Devol was found and arrested at a hotel in Salina, Kansas, on Feb. 9, 2022. He complied when officers attempted to place him in custody, according to testimony at the hearing.
Authorities in Kansas saw a handgun and a white towel with what appeared to be blood on it in plain sight at the hotel, where they entered Devol’s room.
Looking through the windows of Devol’s vehicle, an officer saw a “taken apart” gun, according to testimony from a Salina Police Department officer in the hearing.
Public defender Ara Ohanian, Devol’s defense attorney, took issue with what he said was a failure to read Devol his “Miranda rights.” Those are the rights, under United States law, of an arrested person to have an attorney and to refuse to answer questions.
“All three officers testified that no one read Mr. Devol his Miranda rights” in the officers’ early interactions with Devol, Ohanian said.
But Devol “volunteered” information regarding firearms that he had, without being questioned or prompted, said Nate Marsh, deputy district attorney.
Later, he “was read his rights; he voluntarily waived them in writing,” Steers said.
The Miranda warning was given appropriately, Judge Patricia Herron found.
Video footage also found
Autopsy results show the victims had bruising and shallow injuries and had been shot by two different firearms.
The report, released by the Douglas County Coroner’s Office, shows both victims also had meth, alcohol and marijuana in their systems. In addition to the toxicology reports, notes were made in both autopsies that each had a history of methamphetamine use.
Deputies discovered security footage for the home that showed someone entering the garage carrying “multiple handguns and a long gun.” After a tip from a friend of the family, investigators alleged that Devol is the person in the video.
Devol has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty in September. Devol is slated for a jury trial starting June 12.