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Inside the Evidence: Sodus double murder: The convicted killer

Nikki Rudd
Updated: November 08, 2019 11:31 PM
Created: November 08, 2019 07:14 AM

SODUS, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC has been taking you inside a crime that shocked our community and made national headlines: the double murder in Sodus. The convicted killer was a former police chief. We're taking you inside the evidence that convicted Tim Dean. 

We may never hear Dean's side of the story. He has never admitted to the murders. 

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"Tim Dean, former police chief in Sunray, Texas," Wayne County Sheriff's Lt. Robert Milby said. 

He was one of five detectives that went to Texas as part of the investigation. 

"That's him backing out of the house and surrendering," Milby said as he showed us pictures from the takedown of Dean in Texas. 

It was like a scene out of a movie. They used an explosive to breach the door. Dean eventually walked out of his home with his hands up. 

"The place was surrounded," Milby said.  

Texas Rangers and detectives from Wayne County executed a search warrant at Dean's house in Texas about a week after the murders.

"He had the same exact reaction that you saw on him in court," Milby said. 

"Stoic," News10NBC's Nikki Rudd said. 

"Very," Milby replied. "No emotion whatsoever." 

Dean will spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting and killing Josh Niles and Amber Washburn in October 2018 in Sodus. 

"Mr. Dean was the one who pulled the trigger, and he's the one who could've stopped this," Wayne County District Attorney Michael Calarco said.

He didn't. 

"His only motive is to please Charlene," Milby said. "We believe that was his only motive."

Charlene Childers is Dean's wife. A woman he was willing to kill for.

"These people committed this crime," Milby said. "These people killed Josh and Amber."

Childers lost custody of two of her children to their father, Josh Niles. So Childers and Dean hatched a plan to get them back.

"Josh had to die so she could get her children back," Wayne County Assistant District Attorney Christine Callanan explained. "So Tim

Dean began working on that plan. One time coming up in August."

But he wouldn't kill Niles yet. Dean told a friend he was close enough to reach out and touch Niles, but he couldn't do it because the kids were there. However, that wasn't his last trip to Sodus. Two months later Dean would be back.

"This appears to be him walking down the sidewalk," Milby said. 

Dean was caught on camera on Oct. 22, 2018, near the scene of the crime: Carlton Street. Hours later he would commit the crime that changed his life forever. 

Callanan described the shooting.

"Tim Dean pulls out a gun and shoots Josh Niles in the chest," Callanan said. 

At the same time, Niles' fiancee, Amber Washburn, pulled her car into the driveway. Niles and Washburn's four-year-old son, Josh Junior was in the back seat. 

"Tim Dean turns, shoots one shot into the vehicle killing Amber instantly," Callanan said. 

Her car rolled back into a driveway across the street.

"The neighbor said she could even hear Josh yelling out to Amber before the shooter turned his attention back to him," Callanan said.

"Josh began to crawl under his truck in an attempt to save his life, but unfortunately, he was shot nine more times."

"Overkill," Rudd said. 

"Completely," Callanan said. "Tim Dean was able to get over the fence, and we believe run a block away, and get into a vehicle and make his way out of New York."

"There was really no escape from these charges for Tim Dean," Milby said.  

K9 units were brought in to search the area. 

"The K9 immediately alerted to the mask on the street," Callanan said. 

"It turned out to have Tim Dean's DNA on it," Milby said.

That would be a key piece of evidence at trial. Plus, there's the body camera video from a crash in Kansas.

Deputy Cory Nicolet: What happened? 

Tim Dean: Well, I was trying to turn around. 

On his way to New York, Dean crashed his SUV in Kansas. 

Deputy Nicolet: Got your license and paperwork for this thing? 

Tim Dean: It's a {expletive} rental car.

The deputy's body camera was rolling, and Dean did a lot of talking.

Deputy Nicolet: Where were you going? 

Tim Dean: Honestly man, I was just driving. My whole life has kind of gone to {expletive} lately.

Dean told the deputy he was going through a divorce and driving to New York. He also admitted to having guns. 

Deputy Nicolet: Keep an eye on him. He's got a firearm on him, got a concealed carry. Getting a divorce from Texas just out driving around. Thought he might go to New York.

Second Deputy: From Texas? What the hell is he doing here? 

Deputy Nicolet: That's why I'm going to start poking around the vehicle a little bit. 

"Deputy Nicolet from talking to him pretty instantly knew something was off and there were red flags," Callanan said. 

But no crime had been committed. 

Deputy Nicolet: We got no holds or nothing. I'll do the accident report and that will be that. 

"You would think at some point the thought would've entered his mind that maybe this isn't a good idea," Calarco said. 

"Tim Dean wasn't done," Callanan said. 

Instead, he tried to rent another vehicle, but he only had cash. Enterprise requires a credit card. 

"I told him that he couldn't get the car then his wife called me," the Enterprise employee who dealt with Dean said. "She was complaining, and she started going off on me."

Childers ended up driving from Texas to Kansas to rent him another vehicle, and this is where we get a look at the large storage tub Dean had with him. Inside, Milby says there were a couple of sidearms, a bullet-resistant vest, a shotgun, an AR-15 and ammunition. 

On the drive to New York, license plate readers tracked that rental car. Minutes after, Niles and Washburn were gunned down the rental car was caught on camera on Route 104. Dean had actually pulled over to the side of the road as law enforcement was responding to the shooting he had just committed. 

Cell phone records also show Dean called Childers after the crime. 

"Basically to update her on what happened," Callanan said. "Everything's done."

A week later, Dean would be under arrest. 

"I left home with the intention of going somewhere far away and putting a {expletive} bullet in my head," Dean told a Texas Ranger and FBI Agent.

Law enforcement didn't believe that story.

Texas Ranger: Are you sorry they got killed? 

Tim Dean: I'm sorry they got killed. 

Texas Ranger: Can you say their names? 

Tim Dean: Josh and Amber. 

Texas Ranger: Say I'm sorry Josh and Amber got killed. Not that you did it. 

Tim Dean: I just said that. 

Texas Ranger: No you didn't. You can't even... 

Tim Dean: I'm not playing your games.  

About seven months later, this former police chief became a convicted killer. 

"We've never really heard his side of the story," Rudd said. 

"You probably never will," Milby said. "He's a very small man who doesn't have the internal fortitude to look anybody in the eye because of the things that he's done."

Dean was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. News10NBC wrote to him at Clinton Correctional Facility in Northern New York requesting an interview. We didn't get a response. However, we did hear back from the third person convicted in this case. We'll have Bron Bohlar's part of this story coming up next week on News10NBC. 

Click here to watch our story on Charlene Childers. 
 


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