Dayton man convicted of triple murder of men lured to his home for yardwork

Convicted murderer Andrew Jared Bass is led away from the Liberty County Courthouse on Thursday to begin his life sentence in prison. He will not be eligible for parole.

After deliberating for 20 minutes, a Liberty County jury on Thursday, Oct. 28, found Andrew Jared Bass, 32, guilty of Capital Murder for killing three men at his home on CR 4010 in Dayton. A few minutes after his conviction, Bass was sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole by 75th State District Judge Mark Morefield.

Barbara Brown, wife of murder victim, Walter Brown, and Cecilia Jordan, aunt and sister-in-law to the two other victims, Christopher Wells and his father, Odell Wells, described the agony their families have endured since the murders on Oct. 13, 2019.

Addressing Bass directly during their victim impact statements, Brown and Jordan said they hope Bass is haunted by the memory of his victims.

“When you go to sleep at night, I hope you see their faces every time you close your eyes. There is nothing you could ever say or do that will make me forgive you,” Brown’s widow said. “You will have to face the ultimate judge. He is the one who fights my battles and you will reap what you sowed. You have no one else to blame but yourself because of a heartless decision you made.”

They reminded Bass that not only had his actions destroyed the lives of his victims and their families, but he destroyed his own family.

“I have watched throughout this entire trial this man not show a lick of remorse for the families or his own family. He has not only destroyed our three families but four. He took away a father, a husband, a brother, a cousin, a grandfather, who will never see their family members again,” Jordan said. “I hope he lays awake at night and remembers our family members’ faces. I hope it haunts him in his dreams every single night. The coward that he is deserves to rot in prison for the rest of his life.”

Their strong words evoked no reaction from Bass, who sat silently, facing forward without making eye contact. He was dressed in a suit and tie with shackles around his waist and wrists.

Bass’s defense attorney Chad Etheridge, attempted to point the jury toward a self-defense claim, which Bass had originally asserted during questioning by sheriff’s investigators. The three victims were known acquaintances and had frequently visited his home to help with yardwork. In the week before the murders, Bass and the Wells family had visited a local pumpkin patch together. On the day of the murders, Bass claims he came home to find the three men inside his shop and going through his gun collection. He claims they drew weapons on him, which caused him to shoot them in self-defense.

Armed with a shotgun, Bass shot all three men dead before any of them could fire off a single round. However, his self-defense argument was fractured by the fact that he not only used all the ammunition in the shotgun, he had time to reload before continuing to shoot the men.

On the day of the murders, Bass reportedly picked up the three men, presumably to do yardwork. Family members testified that in the past Bass had paid the men with gifts, cash and drugs. At the time of their deaths, all three victims had illicit drugs in their system, according to testimony from the medical examiner.

“Each one of those guys (victims) tested positive for meth,” said Etheridge, adding that the medical examiner claimed methamphetamine use could lead to violence and confusion. Etheridge also claimed that a motive for the murders had not been proven by the prosecution.

“There was no financial gain for shooting these guys. A few hundred dollars of stuff is not motive,” Etheridge said.

Prosecutor Mark Boemio, in closing remarks, reminded the jury that a pistol found in Chris Wells’ right hand was inconsistent with the fact that he was left-handed, suggesting that Bass may have planted the gun on the victim after the murder.

The motive of the murders was still unclear even after the conviction, though anger over a rash of thefts that Bass had reported to law enforcement appears to be the likely cause. There was no evidence presented during the trial to show that any of the victims had committed a theft, however Bass was frustrated, Boemio said.

“He was frustrated that people were coming to his house and stealing from him,” Boemio said. “He killed these individuals after luring them to his property.”

Boemio said that Bass appeared to try covering up the crime by removing surveillance cameras and footage.

“He recorded himself tampering with the evidence, actively taking down the cameras,” Boemio said. “Theft is not a crime punishable by death.”

The jurors appeared to agree as they returned the verdict in near-record time.

After the trial, Liberty County District Attorney Jennifer Bergman said she is pleased that jurors, who heard and weighed the overwhelming evidence presented to them at trial, handed down a sentence that was “rightly deserved.”

“We extend a debt of gratitude to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and the investigators involved in this case. This conviction would not have been secured if not for their tireless efforts and their dedication to pursuing justice for the victims of this case. Lastly, I would like to commend the prosecutors in this case, Mark Boemio and Nicole Washington, who worked tireless in this matter. The streets of Liberty County are safer tonight because of their efforts. There truly is evil in this world, and Andrew Bass is proof that it exists within Liberty County. Thankfully, Mr. Bass will never again be allowed to walk the streets of our community,” she said.

Capt. Billy Knox, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, lauded the work of Investigators J.R. McQueen, Mark Ellington and Steve Rasberry, and the other LCSO deputies who aided in the case.

“The investigators typically don’t like being recognized because they are a team, but Lead Investigator J.R. McQueen did an outstanding job from the beginning all the way to its conclusion today. LCSO Criminal Investigation Division did a fantastic job with this case,” Knox said.

Prosecutor Mark Boemio (left) and Nicole Washington (right) successfully prosecuted the murder case of Andrew Jared Bass for the capital murder of three men in October 2019. Pictured with them is Liberty County District Attorney Jennifer Bergman.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I hope he finds forgiveness in the name of the Lord, I hope he seeks redemption, I hope he finds salvation….
    I hope the families find forgiveness as well.
    We all feel as if this man should burn in hell, and that is why we are only human and God is god. We don’t understand, nor comprehend the forgiveness that’s available. I hope that every individual involved finds salvation, forgiveness and redemption.

  2. He isn’t the monster that this article makes him out to be. He was a good kid from a great family. Obviously, he got involved with some very shady people. He felt threatened in some way or this NEVER would have happened. He was the type of person that helped people. He helped random people with nothing to gain. These men had criminal records, he didn’t. One was shot off of his bicycle only weeks before all of this happened. I do feel for the families of the lost, but to make him out to be a monster and them to be innocent (even though they had meth in their system) is distorted.

    • He was the type of person to pick up three people drive him to his house and murder them obviously there was enough at the scean for him to he arrested and more than enough to prove him guilty. No matter how awsome he was in your eyes as a kid he grew up to be a killer the fact that you would defined this monster is just prove you dont care about the family’s

  3. Before you comment something like this you should know all the facts. Irrefutable facts.
    1. He picked them all up that day.
    2. Bought them beer and gave them drugs (meth)
    3. Text his wife earlier in the the day said he suspected them. And still DROVE them to his house.
    4. He walked right up to 2 cameras outside the shop they were in. Disconnected 1, and didn’t know it was still filming him. Carried it to the second camera. And disconnect the second.
    5. He said in his own words on body cam footage that they had his hand guns. But the only DNa on the gun next to my Uncle Cliff was Jareds DNA.
    6. Chris Wells had a hand gun near his body also, on the right side of his body. Chris was left handed.
    7.JARED also had amphetamines and opioids in his system. (TOXICOLOGY PROVEN)
    8. He accidentally recorded himself telling his “Mom” who later the detective found out wasnt even his real mom that he had just shot 3 people. To call 911. Her reply was very calm, she asked, “Do I call them now….” Even her call to 911 was calm.
    9. Then the shot gun he shot them with, was under the pile of guns. That he said they were supposedly stealing.
    10. The gun safe had a shoe print in it. That matched only Jarred’s shoe. And all three of the victims had mud on there shoes at the time of there death.
    11. Another fact in his own words, he said he shot them from the doorway. One of his victims, at autopsy still had the cup that holds the pellet of a shotgun shell in his head. Which means close range 3 ft or less.
    So please before you say he isn’t a monster. You should know the facts that our family heard in court. He planned these murders. Showed absolutely NO remorse in the court room and even smiled multiple times. So yes he is a MONSTER the worse kind and Justice was SERVED. We as the Brown Family THANK GOD JUSTUCE WAS SERVED. We never wished him death always just wanted JUSTICE.

  4. My heart goes out to all of the families involved, the Bass family included. Reading this news article was extremely difficult and reading more details of the trial in the comments makes my heart sink. I planned to attend the trial myself but had my own life turned upside down the weeks before and couldn’t make it.
    One thing that people often forget during trials such as these is that each person involved has a family that was destroyed by this event. I am part of Jared’s. I pray for the families of the victims often but want to shed light on the fact that Jared’s family is also devastated. We’ve spent 2 years in pain as well. Jared was like a brother to me growing up. I, in no way, am excusing any actions from this horrific event but also want to ask for prayers for our family, too. We are a very close knit family that loves with everything we have. We weren’t there that night. We hold no responsibility for what occurred that night. But we are also hurting just the same.

  5. What’s sad is I bet all 4 men were great men. But this is what happens when you do hard drugs like meth. Jared was obviously paranoid these people were stealing. And since we know they were on meth they might have been stealing. We will never know. But what we do know is drugs destroyed all these families. Jared’s families posts say he wasn’t a bad person ..that leads me to believe he would have never killed those people if he wasn’t paranoid on drugs. Meth is the monster. This story should be shared with others because this can literally happen to anyone! Don’t hangout with people who aren’t in the right state of mind. Stay away from drugs!

    • I worked with Jared 5 years and he came to our home numerous times. Was always respectful and kind. I still consider him my friend. We don’t understand why this occurred. God knows and if it occur something was wrong. Praying for all families involved.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.