A woman recorded her finals moments before she was killed, leading to decades of prison time for her brother, Colorado prosecutors said.
Casey Devol was sentenced to 31 to 97 years in prison after being accused of shooting and killing his sister, Jessica Mitchell, 32, her boyfriend, Bryan Gray, 34, and beating their dog to death February 2022, according to an Aug. 7 news release from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Mitchell’s audio recording of her killing helped “prosecutors piece this mystery together and bring justice to their families,” District Attorney John Kellner said in the release. “When no eyewitnesses to these murders existed, a digital recorder device became a voice for the victims.”
Mitchell and Gray were found dead inside a Douglas County home’s garage by one of their employers bringing over a car title on Feb. 8, 2022, prosecutors said.
Both had been fatally shot, according to prosecutors.
Surveillance cameras at the home showed a suspect “carrying multiple firearms and entering the garage” where the pair was found dead, prosecutors said.
Mitchell’s friend called investigators shortly after her death and told them she believed Mitchell’s brother, Devol, could be a suspect, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Devol’s driver’s license photo matched features of the suspect on the surveillance footage.
During Mitchell’s autopsy, a digital recording device was found, prosecutors said. The device captured “the events leading up to and including the murders.”
“While we may never know why Jessica decided to start a recording, it was instrumental in helping us place the defendant at the home with the two victims,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrew Steers said in the release.
Gray’s sister told The Denver Gazette that the recording captured the three having dinner with “jovial” conversation. However, during the meal, Devol leaves the house to get a gun.
Though the recording does not offer a motive for the killings, it does make one thing “clear,” according to Steers.
“Two of the three people having dinner that night were murdered and the only person who can answer ‘why’ is Mr. Devol,” Steers said.
Devol, who was arrested at a Kansas hotel on Feb. 9, 2022, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, as well as animal cruelty on July 19, according to prosecutors.
Douglas County is about 40 miles south of Denver.