Tipster leads officers to Florida where they found fugitive accused of wife's murder in La Marque

Jeff Ehling Image
Monday, January 3, 2022
Fugitive in wife's La Marque murder takes own life, deputies say
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Authorities closed in on him after a nine-month search. The victim's parents say he should've never been allowed to make bond due to breaking house arrest.

MARION COUNTY, Florida (KTRK) -- The man accused of killing a La Marque woman in October of 2020 has died by suicide in Florida.

Trent Paschal had been on the run for more than nine months, since April of 2021.

Authorities say he fled after bonding out of jail in both Galveston and Harris counties.

The saga started in October of 2020 when Trent allegedly shot and killed his wife, Savanah Paschal.

According to Savanah's mother, Shirley Kinchen, Savanah was shot by her husband after she told him she couldn't live with a person who was a habitual criminal.

Deputies say after the murder, they tracked Trent to Harris County, where he was shot by deputies after a brief confrontation.

Trent spent months recovering from his injuries, and eventually bonded out of both Galveston and Harris county jails.

"How many other Trent Paschals are out there? Within in the past year there have been six shootouts involving law enforcement officers and wanted felon bond forfeiture defendants," Andy Kahan, the director of victim services and advocacy with Crime Stoppers Houston, said at a briefing Monday afternoon. "That's just in Harris County."

Crime Stoppers was working with Savanah's family on informing the public of Trent's escape and the extent of his crime history.

In April of 2021, investigators said Trent cut his ankle monitor and held a car salesman at knifepoint before taking off with the Chevy Tahoe he had been test driving.

He had not been heard from since then.

Over the weekend, the Marion County Sheriff's Department in Florida got a tip that Trent was at the Holiday Trav-l Park RV Resort in Ocala.

According to officials in Florida, deputies approached the vehicle Trent was in late Friday night, knocked on the door, and that is when they say he shot himself.

"Law enforcement -- police officers -- know probably the most dangerous criminal is one who has skipped out on his bond, one who has cut his monitor off, one who has evaded law enforcement," Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez said. "So, they didn't approach for a while. When they did approach, they found a white male deceased in the van."

Trent was pronounced dead at the scene.

During Monday's briefing, Perez also revealed that officers had found Trent in possession of two weapons, but they do not yet know how he got them.

"It's bittersweet for the family," said Kahan.

Savanah's mother, also spoke at the briefing.

"Did I want him to be held responsible for his actions? Did I want to look him in the eye and for him to face me again with what he had done? Yes," said Shirley. "Am I sorry that he longer walks on this earth? No."

She believes judges failed to keep the community safe from a high-profile criminal.

"The system failed. It was found out that [Trent's] ankle monitor was at his mom's home charging almost 90% of the time," she said. "I think there needs to be stricter monitoring on the ankle monitors."

According to Shirley, Trent did not abide by his bond requirement. She said Trent had spent at least one weekend in Galveston when he was supposed to be under house arrest.

ABC13 spoke to Savanah's father in October, on the anniversary of his daughter's death.

"She helped many of her friends out of these types of relationships, but she couldn't, or wouldn't, help herself," Michael Kinchen said. "I miss her every day. Every minute of every day. I really do."

Savanah was a mother of two, a loving daughter and friend to many in her community. She leaves behind a 12-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter.

"We were always looking over our shoulder," said Shirley. "We didn't let the children out of our sight."

On the anniversary of Savanah's death, her loved ones organized a charity walk to honor her life and help victims of domestic violence.

"I would like Savanah to be remembered as an advocate for the underdog," said Shirley. "We will continue to speak out and bring awareness to domestic violence."

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