In the fifteenth episode of “A Time to Kill” on Investigation Discovery, a startling crime that occurred in November 2015 in the Texas city of Rowlett is chronicled. Nobody suspected that someone very close to Laura Grillo had planned a nefarious scheme to kill her when the mother of three was discovered brutally murdered in her home. However, because of the police’s swift action, they were able to identify and capture the three offenders in less than a year.
How Did Laura Grillo Die?
Laura Ann Aumiller Grillo was born in Baltimore City, Maryland, on August 17, 1978, and was only 37 years old when she was murdered. Her family and friends recall her as a gregarious, industrious person who was always willing to lend a hand and showed kindness to everyone. In addition, Laura played a vital role in the community of Rowlett, Texas, where she belonged to the Rowlett Police Department Volunteers in Police Services group. In addition, she was devoted to her three children and worked hard to provide them the best life possible.
Laura became engaged to her long-term partner in July 2015, and she moved in with him and the children. In addition, her brother Brian Aumiller shared the same home with them. In addition, Laura was eager to begin a new chapter in her life because she and her fiancé were set to get married on November 21, 2015. Tragically, a week prior to the wedding, the family was hit by tragedy. Laura left the house early on November 13 to drop her children off at school, while her partner went with his mother to run some errands related to work. Brian, on the other hand, stayed at home that day and was asleep when they went.
When Brian emerged from his bedroom at approximately 11:50 AM, the front door was ajar. He soon found a dead woman lying face down and noticed blood on the kitchen floor. Brian called the police and asked two of his neighbours for assistance out of fear. They identified the woman as Laura, who had been shot in the head, as soon as they arrived at the scene. She had died from a single gunshot wound to the head above the eye, according to the results of an autopsy. They also discovered a bullet casing on the ground, suggesting that a.40-caliber firearm was probably used as the murder weapon.
Who Killed Laura Grillo?
No signs of forced entry into the house supported the police’s initial theory that Laura had been the victim of a botched robbery. But the bedroom safe was open, and all the drawers were emptied. Nevertheless, when the police started questioning Laura’s family members, they discovered that Brian, who had autism and was partially deaf, had been sleeping during the attack and had not heard the gunshot. They then had a conversation with Ioannis “John” Makris, the victim’s fiancé and owner of a home remodelling company. They were shocked to learn that he appeared indifferent to Laura’s passing and rushed to get the kids back into the house.
Furthermore, neighbours said that John attempted to get rid of his fiancée’s belongings too soon and that he failed to mention her to the police when they questioned him about who lived with him. He passed a gun residue test and had a perfect alibi regarding his whereabouts on the day of the murder, despite his suspicious behaviour. John claims that he left his house that morning and went to Home Depot to get supplies for his business. James Villeda and Jesus Trevino, two of his workers, joined him in the store at roughly 9:45 AM. Furthermore, both men and the store’s video surveillance supported his allegation.
However, after looking through John’s phone records, the investigators discovered that Laura had emailed him in June 2015 with the intention of breaking up. But after he made a romantic proposal to her, the pair appeared to get back together the following month. Utilising search warrants and location tracking, the authorities discovered that Trevino’s phone was in close proximity to Laura’s residence during the murder. Other than that, they took from Villeda’s hotel room cell phones, latex gloves, and tennis shoes. Despite their belief that he and Jesus could be suspects in the case, the police lacked sufficient evidence to question them.
But soon, it became clear that Villeda and Trevino were convicted sex offenders, with the former being an illegal immigrant who had been deported earlier. In December 2015, the police obtained an arrest warrant for him because, as per the court mandate, he had not registered himself as a sex offender. At that point, Trevino had fled Texas, but they were able to locate his ex-girlfriend Lorena Rodriguez thanks to an important tip. The native of Rockwell, Texas, revealed that she reported Laura’s murder to the local police.
Lorena claimed Trevino informed her that his boss had paid him $15,000 to kill his wife, months prior to the mother of three being killed. She informed the authorities of the same, even though she didn’t know the man was John. They speculated that he hired Trevino and Villeda to kill Laura before she could leave because he was desperate not to lose her or the kids after she threatened to end their relationship. Subsequently, the investigators discovered images in Trevino’s Google account of an unidentified woman carrying a gun that resembled the murder weapon.
The individual who gave the authorities Trevino’s new phone number was Janet Barron, another one of his ex-girlfriends. In April 2016, he was apprehended after being tracked to his hiding place in Clearwater, Florida, and returned to Texas. Meanwhile, the authorities got in touch with Ramon Fino, a man whose ID photos they discovered in Trevino’s Google account. He claimed that the latter had asked him and a different man by the name of Juan Salazar to join him in the murder, but they had declined.
However, in May 2016, Villeda was also arrested on a drug-related charge. He admitted to the full murder-for-hire scheme after being questioned about Laura’s death several times. He also revealed that Trevino had recruited him for the homicide in September 2015 in exchange for a $15,000 payment. Villeda claimed that Trevino and John had organised every aspect, even though he was merely the getaway driver. He revealed that in the days preceding Laura’s murder, they had made three unsuccessful attempts on her life and had bought a silver Kia automobile for the same purpose.
In addition, to make the murder appear like a robbery, the money in John and Laura’s bedroom safe was taken out prior to the killing. According to Villeda, on November 13, 2015, he drove to the house with Trevino, who let himself in with the security code. He then killed the victim by shooting her from behind before forcing his accomplice to drive him away. They disassembled the gun and tossed it in a skip on the way, and Trevino got rid of his clothes at a body shop.
Villeda’s account led the police to follow his path that morning, where they found the abandoned car and clothes. Finally, the silver Kia was found close to Laura’s house at the time of her death, according to surveillance footage. John was detained and accused of capital murder in June 2016 after all the evidence and testimony were taken into consideration. However, James Villeda and Jesus Trevino were accused of capital murder in exchange for money.
John Makris, Jesus Trevino, and James Villeda Are Behind Bars Today
James Villeda, Jesus Trevino, and John Makris are in jail. James agreed to testify against John and Trevino today after accepting a plea deal; his testimony was important throughout Laura Grillo’s murder trial. In September 2018, John was ultimately found guilty of capital murder and given a life sentence without the possibility of release. Trevino was also found guilty of capital murder the following February and given a life sentence without the possibility of release. James was given a 25-year prison term because he had agreed to a plea deal.
Ioannis John Makris, 45, is currently incarcerated at Tennessee Colony, Texas’s H.H. Coffield Unit, according to official records. Additionally, Jesus Trevino, 37, is incarcerated at the Jim Ferguson Unit in Midway, where he is serving his sentence. The 36-year-old James Villeda is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2041 from the J. Dale Wainwright Unit in Lovelady. He won’t be qualified for parole prior to November 2028.