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Robert Allen Satterfield, in suit and tie, is escorted from the Wharton County Courthouse by sheriff’s deputies Thursday afternoon following court proceedings in his capital murder trial.

WHARTON — Testimony from the witness stand and from a lengthy audio recording made by Texas Ranger David Chauvin revealed that eight days after a family of three were shot to death in June 2018, investigators found pieces of a car trunk liner and a cell phone linked to their accused killer, Robert Allen Satterfield.

The pieces of trunk liner, thought to be from the car belonging to one of the victims, Maya Rivera, were buried in sand along the bank and a trail leading to the bank of the San Bernard River.

Also found that day was Satterfield’s cell phone. It was on the grassy shoulder of Spur 310 right where he said it was, Chauvin testified Friday.

Natalie Tice, an assistant Wharton County district attorney who led the questioning of Chauvin, asked the Ranger how he found the smartphone so quickly.

“The defendant was adamant that he knew where it was discarded,” he answered.

Chauvin said Satterfield said he’d thrown it, trying to break it, but it had a case on it so it just bounced or slid into the grass.

The Ranger said the defendant, at about 4:37 p.m. June 20, signed written permission to search the phone and provided the pass code. The phone is secured at the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office.

The trunk liner, Satterfield’s cell phone, a small black and silver 9mm semi-automatic handgun, the pistol’s magazine, two knives and two cell phones were being sought by law enforcement. Only the trunk liner and the Satterfield’s cell phone had been located, according to testimony.

The knives and two cell phones being sought belonged to gunshot victims Ray Shawn Hudson Sr., 28, and Rivera, 24. They were all disposed of in different locations, Satterfield told Rangers, after the family had been killed, burned in a trash pit and buried with a backhoe.

Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison is only trying Satterfield for the death of Ray Shawn “Baby Ray” Hudson Jr. His fifth birthday would have been celebrated June 11, the day after he was killed.

The jury of eight men and seven women, along with everyone who spent Friday in Judge Randy Clapp’s 329th District courtroom, listened all day to the audio — and at times video — interview of Satterfield by Ranger Chauvin, with Ranger James Wilkins participating at times.

The interview the jury heard Friday began at 9:40 a.m. June 20 at the Fort Bend County Jail.

Satterfield began the interview by renewing a request for a private cell. He was also concerned about getting money from his last paycheck applied to his jail money account in order to buy hygiene items and other things. And Chauvin began by apologizing to him for not believing him the day — June 16 — he eventually showed Rangers where the bodies were buried in a burn pit on land owned by Henry Floyd near Burr.

“I came here today to apologize to you. I didn’t believe you. We recovered some bones, teeth and some other stuff,” Chauvin tells Satterfield in the recording.

Satterfield, as he had done on numerous occasions, waived his Miranda rights. Shortly thereafter, Chauvin told the defendant he was being charged with three counts of murder.

“If someone else is involved, I need to know today … so I can run it down,” Chauvin said.

“Ain’t nobody else involved. I just have to deal with the consequences. … I’ll be judged in court,” Satterfield replied.

Chauvin kept trying to get Satterfield to tell him what prompted the killings. He said several times he “was running from people” and “involved in some deep” stuff. And that he was tired of being taunted and disrespected; being called a snitch for reporting a then-Wharton County Sheriff’s deputy he believed was helping to escort drugs through the county and a dog.

He said Ray Shawn had “tried to put me in some people’s hands.” He said he wasn’t going to get anyone else involved because he was afraid some of the people he was running from would harm his young son and his son’s mother.

“As long as I don’t say anything they’re safe, I believe,” Satterfield is heard saying.

The Ranger asked if Ryan Floyd was involved. Satterfield said he was not, and he didn’t think Ryan even knew Ray Shawn.

Chauvin kept politely, but steadfastly, trying to get Satterfield to give more information, such as where the murder weapon was located.

After a promise to get him some cigarettes, Satterfield agreed to ride with Chauvin and Wilkins to show them where he had thrown the gun and the other items he discarded after he killed the family. He said he didn’t know the “body of water,” just where it was.

Before they arrived at the river bridge where the gun and a cell phone were said to have been tossed, a call was put in to Henry Floyd. He appeared to be the person closest to Satterfield since his daughter and Satterfield have a 2-year-old son together.

“I wish you’d tell them the truth,” Floyd told the defendant over the phone.

Floyd said he’d have to live with what happened “the rest of my life.” Floyd did agree to put $100 on Satterfield’s jail money account.

At the east bank of the Brazos River near a train trestle, they all got out of Chauvin’s pickup. Satterfield said he disposed of the gun and Ray Shawn’s cell phone between 8:30 to 9 p.m. June 10. He showed Rangers where he said he was standing, and that he heard it hit the water. Chauvin didn’t believe he could throw it that far. Ray Shawn’s cell phone was not found, and a DPS dive team a week later failed to locate the handgun.

Since Satterfield was stopped in Rosenberg for driving Maya’s car, Chauvin was interested in why Satterfield went back to get it from where he left it near a bridge on the San Bernard River.

“He thought he was in the clear because there was no mention of the missing family on the news,” Chauvin told the court, adding Satterfield said he’d gone to a library to use a computer to see if there were any Amber Alerts on Baby Ray.

During the estimated five hours Rangers Chauvin and Wilkins rode around Wharton, Fort Bend and Austin counties with Satterfield, the Rangers would every once in a while seek clarification on details.

During one such clarification, Satterfield said he immediately dragged Ray Shawn into the pit after killing him, shooting him twice in the torso and finally in the head. He said he shot him once and he started backing up toward the burn pit. He said he was trying to get information from Ray Shawn about the harassment he was receiving. He didn’t, so he shot him two more times.

He then put trash on him and set it on fire using lighter fluid, he said. He later shot Maya once in the torso and once in the head, and that he shot Baby Ray once in the head because he could have identified him, Satterfield said.

During their “field trip,” Satterfield showed Rangers the area where he tossed the gun’s magazine and told them where knives he said Ray Shawn and Maya had pulled on him could be found. Rangers went back later to look for the magazine.

Some of the threats Satterfield was getting were on Facebook, he said. He said he was going to sell the pistol, but “when they started messing with me again … I needed to keep it for protection.”

“I was hoping they’d leave me alone, but they never left me alone,” he was recorded as saying. He said different people would follow him or box him in on the freeway. He said Ray Shawn was one of those people.

He also said he took Ray Shawn’s and Maya’s money after he killed them.

The knife he said Maya pulled on him was black and sharp, and he used it to cut a portion of the trunk liner out of the car that he believed contained Maya’s blood.

It was also learned Ray Shawn and Satterfield met each other in prison between 2012 and 2014.

“The only reason I’ve talked is because of Mr. Henry,” Satterfield can be heard saying, adding he did not want Floyd to be able to access his property while the bodies were being sought.

“My biggest regret is shooting the kid,” Satterfield reportedly said.

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