JEFFERSON COUNTY - By Megan Dillard - More than two decades after the death of a Beaumont cabdriver and his wife, the person who killed them is paying for the crime.
Roy Frank Kendrick III pleaded no contest to the murders of Vaughn and Mary Fausett.
Kendrick shot the couple in October 1985.
He's already serving a life sentence for capital murder in the shooting of a Beaumont man in 1996.
He stuffed the man's body into a footlocker.
KFDM spoke with the detective who wouldn't give up on the case.
She also spoke with a family friend who says with the holidays approaching, she has more than enough reason to give thanks.
A red prison uniform; chains on his hands and feet; no emotion on his face.
46-year-old Roy Kendrick III said nothing as he walked into Judge John Stevens' courtroom Thursday morning in Beaumont.
He stood next to his attorneys and pled no contest to the 1985 murders of Vaughn and Mary Fausett.
The cab driver and his wife picked up a passenger one October night and that was the last time dispatch heard from the couple.
The next day, police found Mary's body in the LNVA Canal.
Officers found Vaughn's body several hours later, not too far away.
Nearly 30 years later, those involved in the case have found closure.
"Often times, time is the enemy for a homicide. In this case, it kind of worked in our favor. Some things happened over the years that let us look at Mr. Kendrick and from there we were able to put the case together and get him indicted on it."
Detective Aaron Lewallen investigated the murders.
The case was never far from mind.
"It's one of those cases that kept getting passed down to new detectives, ok we've worked on it, now it's your turn. People would work on it, look at it and kind of tinker away at it. We stumbled across it, picked it up and ran with it."
Years of evidence brought together; one more cold case crossed off the list.
"People need closure. Family members and victims need justice and their justice doesn't need to be in the drawer of a filing cabinet."
People like Mary Newton.
An old family friend of the Fausetts, she still struggles with their deaths, 27 years later.
"It's like when you smell something that's associated with them it brings back memories. You hear something, you hear a song. You have your good days and you have your bad."
Newton tries to filter out the horror of that night in 1985 when she thinks about her friends.
"I try to keep the good memories, not the bad memories. They were the type of people that wouldn't want you to dwell on their death. They were always full of life."
Two lives taken; their killer behind bars. And a family friend, forever grateful.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know everyone can rest in peace now. It'll be a great Thanksgiving."
Kendrick won't be eligible for parole until 2036. He will be 70.
BEAUMONT - A man serving a life sentence for capital murder has been sentenced to 15 years for the 1985 shooting deaths of a cab driver and his wife.
KFDM reporter Megan Dillard was in court for the sentencing. Watch KFDM News at 5 and 6 for reaction to the new developments.
Roy Frank Kendrick III, 46, pleaded no contest to murder in the deaths of Vaughn and Mary Fausett. Judge John Stevens sentenced him Thursday to 15 years, to be served concurrently with the life sentence.
Vaughn Fausett picked up a passenger on the night of October 11, 1985 at Phelan and Major in Beaumont. Beaumont police found Mary Fausett's body the next day, partially submerged in the LNVA canal near the railroad tracks on Plant Road. Hours later, officers found Vaughn Fausett's body on a slope of the LNVA canal in the 7700 block of Major Drive. Both had been shot.
Kendrick is serving a life sentence for shooting and killing a man in 1996 and stuffing the victim's body in a footlocker that was found in an abandoned home in Beaumont.
The BPD cold case unit investigated the case and detectives say information from witnesses linked Kendrick to the killings of the Fausetts. According to a probable cause affidavit, Kendrick's father told detectives that just a couple of days after the murders, his son confessed to him that he killed the cab driver and his wife.
Detectives interviewed Kendrick in November 2010 at the prison unit where he's serving life for the 1996 murder. He denied killing the Fausetts.
A grand jury indicted Kendrick in September 2011 for capital murder in the deaths of Vaughn and Mary Fausett.