The terrible and shocking sequence of events that took place in November 2015 form the basis of the Laura Grillo Murder case.
As she got ready to marry her fiancé, Ioannis “John” Makris, Laura, a dedicated mother of three and volunteer with the Rowlett Police Department, was about to begin a new chapter in her life.
However, Laura’s life was brutally ended a week before their wedding when she was shot to death in her home.
Detectives uncovered a bizarre murder for hire plan involving two of Makris’ employees, Jesus Trevino and James Villeda, using surveillance footage, phone records, and important leads.
This disturbing plan to commit murder for hire was recently the subject of an episode of the popular true crime series A Time to Kill on ID channel.
On Thursday, May 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET, the show “Devil at the Depot” will air. It gives a compelling description of the inquiry.
What Happened To Her?
Laura Ann Aumiller Grillo, who passed very tragically at the age of 37, was a valued person. She was born on August 17, 1978, in Baltimore City, Maryland.
She had a reputation for having a strong work ethic, friendliness, and a readiness to offer assistance.
As a volunteer for the Rowlett Police Department’s Volunteers In Police Services, Laura made a significant contribution to her community in Rowlett, Texas.
She was a loving mother to her three children and always tried to do her best for them. Laura’s life improved after she became engaged to her long-term lover in July 2015. Together, they created a home where Laura and her kids lived.
Brian Aumiller, Laura’s brother, also resided in the same home. The pair had scheduled November 21, 2015 as the day of their wedding, and Laura was eagerly anticipating starting a new chapter in her life.
However, a week before the wedding, the family’s joy was dashed.
On November 13, Laura went out to run errands for her partner and his mother as she dropped her kids off at school. Brian stayed at home during this time, sleeping well in his bedroom.
When Brian got out of bed at around 11:50 a.m., he found the front door of the house wide open. He was more alarmed when he saw blood on the kitchen floor and a woman’s lifeless body laying face down.
Brian instantly asked two nearby neighbours for assistance and quickly called the police, fearing the worst.
Authorities recognised Laura as the deceased when they got on the site. She received a deadly headshot wound above her eye, the autopsy later confirmed.
A bullet casing was also discovered on the ground, indicating that a.40-caliber weapon had been used in the heinous act.
The neighbourhood was shocked by Laura Grillo’s tragic death and the circumstances surrounding it.
Later, the detectives started looking into a complicated web of lies, falsehoods, and betrayals that had been hidden under Laura’s life’s outward appearance of perfection and harmony.
Investigating Laura Grillo’s Murder
When investigators found no evidence of forced entry into Laura Grillo’s home, initial concerns of a botched heist were allayed.
Instead, they discovered indications of forced drawer searches and an unlocked safe in the bedroom.
When the investigation turned to Laura’s immediate family, it was found that Brian, who had autism and was partially deaf, slept during the assault without hearing the fatal bullet.
Ioannis “John” Makris, Laura’s fiance and proprietor of a house remodelling company, was then questioned.
Unexpectedly, John showed no emotion after Laura’s untimely death and returned to the house with the kids almost away.
Suspicions were heightened by neighbours’ claims that John tried to prematurely get rid of Laura’s possessions.
John also omitted Laura from his answers when asked about the people that lived in his house.
Despite these dubious actions, John passed a test for the presence of gunshot residue and offered a convincing alibi for his whereabouts on the day of the murder.
He claims that he left his house that morning to go to Home Depot and get materials for his company. Around 9:45 a.m., his employees Jesus Trevino and James Villeda joined him at the business. Surprisingly, John’s assertions were confirmed by store security footage and both men’s statements.
Investigators were able to access John’s phone records in order to acquire more proof. These documents showed that Laura had written him an email in June 2015 stating her intention to break up with him.
The next month, though, after John romantically proposed to her, the couple appeared to be back together. The police established that Trevino’s phone was close to Laura’s home at the time of the murder thanks to search warrants and location tracing.
In Villeda’s hotel room, they discovered cellphones, latex gloves, and a pair of tennis shoes.
Despite the fact that both guys were thought to be potential suspects, there wasn’t enough solid proof for the police to bring them in for interrogation.
Later, it was discovered that Trevino and Villeda were convicted sex offenders, with Trevino being a convicted felon who had been deported and had illegally re-entered the country.
Trevino was the subject of an arrest warrant in December 2015 because he didn’t follow the rules of sex offenders registration.
Trevino, though, had already left Texas at that point. Fortunately, an important tip helped the police track down Lorena Rodriguez, an ex-girlfriend of Trevino who had reported Laura’s murder to the local police.
Lorena disclosed that Trevino had confided in her, telling her that months prior to the sad event, his boss had hired him for $15,000 to kill his wife.
Lorena informed the authorities of this information without realising John was the employer.
Investigators conjectured that John plotted with Trevino and Villeda to kill Laura before she could leave because he was afraid of losing her and their children after she threatened to leave the relationship.
Additionally, in Trevino’s Google account, police found images of an unidentified woman carrying a gun that resembled the murder weapon.
The woman was revealed to be Janet Barron, a different ex-girlfriend of Trevino who gave the police his current phone number. Trevino was located in Clearwater, Florida, where he was apprehended and sent back to Texas.
Ramon Fino, whose identifying photos were discovered in Trevino’s Google account, was approached by the police throughout the investigation.
Fino revealed that Trevino had asked him and another person by the name of Juan Salazar to take part in the murder scheme, but they both turned him down.
Villeda, meantime, was detained in May 2016 on a drug-related offence. Villeda admitted to taking part in the entire murder-for-hire plot after being questioned extensively about Laura’s killing.
Where Are John Makris, Jesus Trevino, and James Villeda Now?
They were given a 25-year sentence when James Villeda agreed to a plea agreement and gave critical testimony during Laura Grillo’s murder trial.
However, John Makris, age 45, was convicted of capital murder and has been detained at the H.H. Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas, since September 2018 to begin a life sentence without the possibility of release.
Jesus Trevino, who was found guilty of capital murder and was sent to the Jim Ferguson Unit in Midway, served his time there.
He was also given a life sentence without the possibility of release. The predicted release date for James Villeda, a 36-year-old prisoner at the J. Dale Wainwright Unit in Lovelady, is May 5, 2041. He won’t be eligible for parole before November 2028, according to government documents.
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