Accused Triple Murderer Admits Killing Parents

Monday, October 18th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Jurors heard tearful testimony Monday from 16-year-old Dylan Shanks who explained in graphic detail how he murdered his own parents. Shanks's sister put her hand over her heart and looked at her brother when she was on the witness stand as a gesture of love to her baby brother. She testified about his massive drug use, starting when he was in the 6th grade, and said she blamed herself for the tragedy. She said, "If I would've made him get help, I'd still have my family." As she left the stand, she kissed her hand and held up a fist to him in support.

Shanks then took the stand and explained how he wanted to live a godly life, but kept getting strung out on drugs. He cried as he described the murders. "I don't know what I was thinking,” Shanks said. “I opened the door and I shot him. My mom was in the living room. I ejected the bolt and put in another shell,” he continued. “My mom was scared. She screamed. I shot."

Shanks said he shot each of his parents again after they had fallen to the floor. He also spoke about plotting with his girlfriend and her cousins about how to kill her grandparents and rob them. He admitted shooting both of them and then said none of it seemed real. "I felt like I was there, but it was as if I was out of my body watching, wanting to stop it, but I couldn't, " Shanks explained.

When asked why he did it, Shanks kept saying there was no reason. He had loved his parents and they didn't deserve to die. After his arrest, Shanks said, "I felt nothing, empty, alone, in a state of stupor. I wished I could wake up in my bed and start over, but I couldn't."

Shanks attorneys hope by admitting to the crimes and talking about his troubled childhood, the jury will show him leniency. Prosecutors say this triple murderer needs to spend the rest of his life in prison. The jury will hear closing arguments Tuesday morning, then will decide Shanks' fate. Stay with the News on Six for the jury’s decision.