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Frisco Man Gets Life Sentence for Murdering Parents

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(McKINNEY, Texas) – Zachary Elliot Callens, 18, of Frisco, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his mother and father, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis. 

On August 11, 2014, Frisco Police officers responded to a 911 call of shots fired at a home near Coit and Shepherds Hill.  When Frisco police officers responded, they discovered Ryan and Maria Callens deceased in their bedroom. Both had been shot and killed. Police also found a rifle on the floor outside the master bedroom. The rifle had a flashlight attached to it by duct tape. 

The victims’ 16-year-old son, Zachary Callens, was located outside the residence near his sister when police arrived.  Frisco Officer Hinton Butler heard Callens explain to his sister that “he did it.”  When she asked him if the murders were his plan, he indicated to her that it was.  Multiple items of evidence were collected from the scene including the rifle with the flashlight, as well as duct tape and bullets found in Callens’ bedroom.  DNA evidence linked Callens to the flashlight and the duct tape on the rifle.

Frisco Det. Daniel Bardwell and Sgt. Nelson Walter led the investigation and charged the juvenile with the murder of his parents. Callens was later certified to stand trial as an adult.

The jury found Callens guilty of both murders and assessed punishment at life in prison for each. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Danette Broome and Cynthia Walker.  They were aided by DA Investigator Jared Clark.