Christopher Hoefling Murder – The 2017 murder of Christopher Hoefling in Evansville, Indiana is the topic of the Investigation Discovery documentary series “The Murder Tapes” Season 7 Episode 12 titled, “Help, I’ve Been Shot.” Investigators arrested the offenders in a matter of days. If you’re curious about the investigation’s conclusion, we have information on the current whereabouts and identities of the killers. I suppose we should then get started.
“Officers with the Evansville police department arrive at a crime scene to find a shooting victim barely alive and needing medical attention; the stakes get higher after they realize there might be another injured victim who’s now missing.”
Who Was Christopher Hoefling and How Did He Die?
Christopher “Chris” Eugene Hoefling was born to Gene and Melinda (Moye) Hoefling on October 29, 1997, in Evansville, Indiana. He participated in four years of high school football and graduated from Memorial in 2016. Chris entered the construction sector after finishing a building trades apprenticeship. A Holy Rosary Catholic Church member, he was an enthusiastic golfer and gym rat.
Chris, according to his friend Briget Aussin, was a shy individual who, once he came out of his shell, was immensely entertaining and outgoing. The news of his abduction on December 18, 2017, at 9:00 p.m., following a carjacking in Evansville, came as a complete surprise. In the Washington, D.C. area, his deceased body was discovered in the trunk of a red Hyundai Sonata on Lombard Avenue. According to the police investigation, at least four .380 pistol bullets were discovered in his body.
Who is Responsible for the Murder of Christopher Hoefling?
On December 18, 2017, an anonymous caller to 911 reported a shooting victim in the parking lot of Rick’s Tavern in Evansville. Evansville, Indiana, Police Department officers discovered 20-year-old Brandon Waldroup (called Steve in the episode) in critical condition and in need of medical assistance. While paramedics attended to Brandon’s urgent needs, detectives attempted to collect as much information from him as possible. As illustrated in the episode, when the police asked Brandon if he was at the bar, he stated that he was too young to be there because he was only 20 years old.
He claimed that he was driving his father’s red Hyundai Sonata in the parking lot when an older black man wearing a tan jacket approached him from behind, shot him, and stole the car. While paramedics transported him to the hospital, authorities studied surveillance footage from the parking lot in search of leads. The CCTV film confirmed Brandon’s account, which showed him sitting in his father’s red car when a black man grabbed it. The authorities were unable to identify the murderer based on the surveillance footage.
They decided to visit Brandon in the hospital, and after speaking with him, he began cooperating with detectives and explaining that the incident was the consequence of a botched drug trade. Nevertheless, the narrative has taken an unexpected turn after he reveals that his friend Chris was in the car with him and that the assailant may have abducted both of them. He said that his friend Jalil had urged him to sell marijuana to Jeremiah, who is known to be affiliated with Jalil.
Brandon’s statement that his phone was in the car provided the police with their first clue in the rare case of attempted murder and kidnapping. After tracking his phone’s signal, they established that he was last seen in Washington on Lombard Avenue neighbourhood, approximately five to seven minutes away from the crime scene. On December 19, at 6:23 p.m., the stolen vehicle was discovered in this neighbourhood, as the police had little doubt it would. The cops discovered Chris’s lifeless body in the passenger seat.
Authorities subpoenaed Brandon’s phone records over his objections; they determined Jalil’s full name to be Jalil A. Fellows and identified Earl Bernard Martin as the supposed Jeremiah at 901 Bellemeade Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. According to the episode, Earl had a history of robbery offences and was now on parole. Hence, he was required to notify his parole officer of his new address, which was on file.
Earl was located at his residence; he agreed to meet with detectives there but engaged a counsel before answering questions about Chris’s death. Officers recovered the murder weapon, a bag of marijuana, and spent shell casings while searching his residence, which led to his arrest. On the day of his arrest, preliminary murder and robbery with serious bodily injury charges were filed against 26-year-old Jalil. He and his mother had independently arrived at the station. He claimed to be Earl’s coworker and denied knowledge of the shooting.
Where Are Earl Martin and Jalil Fellows Today?
By July 12, 2018, Jalil had decided to assist the authorities and had confessed that he and Earl had planned to steal money. As Earl questioned whether he knew somebody they could rob, Jalil called Brandon about selling a half-pound of marijuana. Jalil anticipated that once Earl robbed the young heroin dealer, they would divide the earnings equally. Still, he said he was unaware Earl would become a murderer.
After checking his text communications with Earl, corroborating his claim, the police offered Jalil a plea bargain. The Vanderburgh Circuit Court sentenced him to five years in jail for robbery conspiracy on June 14, 2019, but the murder charges against him were dropped. According to court documents, the 31-year-old was released on parole in April 2022 and currently resides in the Evansville Parole District.
During a carjacking, Earl was arrested and charged with murder, armed robbery, attempted murder with a firearm, and kidnapping. In February of 2019, he received the maximum 65-year sentence for murder, an additional 40 years for attempted murder, three concurrent 6-year terms for robbery, and two 15-year sentence enhancements. On March 2119, the earliest possible release date, he would be 140 years old. The 41-year-old is being detained at the Wabash Valley Level 3 Prison in Carlisle.
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