ANGLETON — Jarret Angst is guilty of capital murder and will spend the rest of his life in prison, a Brazoria County jury decided Monday afternoon.
The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half before delivering their unanimous verdict.
Angst, 22, will join his friend, 23-year-old Stephen Heiman, in serving a life sentence for shooting and killing Don Weido on Jan. 22, 2017. Rita Young, 59, is accused of arranging payment of money or property for their services and is awaiting a September trial from Brazoria County jail.
All of the accused are from Needville. The younger men were connected to Weido because Heiman once dated Young’s granddaughter and Weido once was married to Young’s daughter. Weido and his ex-wife were involved in a custody battle, according to the prosecution.
Outside the courtroom, Weido’s family thanked jurors for their verdict.
Frances Weido and John Weido, Don Weido’s parents, delivered victim impact statements in front of Angst.
“You are nothing but a cold-blooded killer,” Frances Weido said. “You shot my son four times in his face when he was fighting for his life and you didn’t even know Don.”
Angst’s actions have changed so many lives and taken the joy out of her family’s lives, she said.
“We will never be the same,” she said. “I think of Don every day. Every day.”
She believes Angst has no soul, no remorse and would kill again with no problem. Frances Weido was disturbed he smiled so much during the trial and looked at crime scene pictures like he was watching a movie, she said.
“You didn’t even know him,” Frances Weido said. “How can you do something like that?”
Don Weido had custody of his son when Angst killed him, John Weido said. Don Weido was a Scout Leader and a baseball coach, he said.
“Was it worth it?” John Weido said. “Really, was it worth it Jarret? Only a disgusting coward would act in this manner. That’s what I think of you now, you’re a disgusting coward.”
Two guns were used to kill 49-year-old Weido, a Hi-Point shot by Heiman and a Taurus shot by Angst, prosecutors said, the latter of which fired the fatal shots into Weido’s head.
The bullets from the Hi-Point were found in the flower bed and front door area, he said. This gun can hold nine bullets, and the nine cartridges found outside means Heiman likely emptied his gun before entering the house, Albin said.
All of the bullets recovered from inside Don Weido’s home likely came from the Taurus, Pearland Police Detective Jon Albin said on the stand Monday.
Angst leaned over Heiman and fired four shots to the victim’s head, Prosecutor Jessica Pulcher said.
Under any theory of this case, Angst is guilty of capital murder, Pulcher said during her closing argument.
Weido did everything right to prevent a situation like this, Pulcher said. He had a dog, slept with a gun under his mattress and kept his door locked when two strangers knocked, she said. But the men kicked the door open and killed him, she said.
“There’s nothing Don could’ve done to prevent the defendant’s actions,” Pulcher said.
Defense attorney Robert Miller argued Angst lied to investigators throughout the entirety of this process, including about his participation in shooting Weido. He said he shot Weido because idolized his “brother” Heiman, Miller said.
When the men went shopping together before the shooting, Heiman stood in front of Angst and used Angst’s money to buy ammunition and gloves, Miller said.
Since Angst’s life was rocked at that period of time — his son had died recently and his wife was under investigation for the death — Heiman saw him as the perfect scapegoat to help him do this job, Miller said.
“Here you have this overweight, nerdy kid who worships the ground Stephen walks on,” he said.
Angst knew Heiman was unstable, but Heiman was Angst’s only friend in the world and he will do whatever he could to protect him, Miller said.
Miller alleged Heiman had both of the guns inside the house. There was no way Angst — who weighed 280 to 300 pounds at the time — could fit in the small space between the table and wall to fire fatal shots into Weido with Heiman already leaning over him, Miller said.
The state introduced no physical evidence Angst was to receive remuneration from the killing except Angst’s own statements, he said.
Angst should not be thought of as a poor, overweight kid, Pulcher said. The first story Angst told investigators completely placed blame on Heiman, she said.
The only child in the situation is Weido’s son, who will grow up without a father, Pulcher said.
Defense attorneys indicated they will appeal the verdict, to which 300th District Judge Randall Hufstetler responded appellate courts will handle any appeals. The only option for punishment for capital murder is life in prison since the state did not seek the death penalty, he said.
“You will serve the rest of your life without parole,” Hufstetler said. “Good luck to you. We’re adjourned.”