EXCLUSIVE: Family of quadruple murder victims remembers them as ‘beautiful spirits’

Local News

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A relative of some of the quadruple murder victims is remembering her family fondly and speaking out about the heartbreaking experience of the past few days.

Hailey Clinton is the big sister of John Clinton, an 18-year-old soon to enter his senior year of Sabine High School.

“It’s still hard to believe, I couldn’t imagine it happening to my little brother,” Hailey said.

Hailey also knew the other victims. Ami Hickey was her stepmother and Amanda Bain was Ami’s partner.

“They were all very funny people. Always loved to make people laugh, beautiful spirits,” Hailey said.

Hailey said that John was preparing to marry Jeff Gerla, who was also killed that night, in the coming months.

“We’re still trying to cope with it, trying to figure out how to cope with it,” Hailey said.

Hailey’s aunt Summer and sister Maddie are keeping each other company during this difficult time, remembering their beloved “JT.”

“We all loved JT,” Hailey said. “He was the light of our life and we’re all grieving him the same, it just comforts us to know we all have each other’s support.”

With only memories left of some of her loved ones, Hailey said that this experience is heartbreaking.

“He was very funny,” Hailey said. “He always had jokes and he was just bright. Very bright. He had a beautiful spirit. Anytime anything was wrong, just call JT and he’d make everything better.”

Early Tuesday morning, the bodies of 18-year-old John Clinton, 47-year-old Jeff Gerla, 39-year-old Ami Hickey and 39-year-old Amanda Bain were found on a property near New Summerfield.

It was Jacqueline Gerla, the mother of Jeff, who called 911 after finding John’s body on the driveway. Police found Jeff Gerla, Hickey and Bain dead inside a white mobile home behind a brick house on the property.

Police arrested three people and charged them all with capital murder. KETK News has uncovered criminal arrests for the three suspects from across Texas through public records from multiple counties.

In a press conference, Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said that John Clinton knew one of the men who was arrested.

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