Whatever Happened to the Canyon Lakes Double Murder Case? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/8/02

Whatever Happened to the Canyon Lakes Double Murder Case?

In January 2001, two bodies were discovered off of East Canyon Lake Drive. They were the bodies of 53 year-old Texas Tech Library Dean, Douglas Birdsall and 18 year-old Viola Ross McVade. Police believe the two were murdered in an alley between 9th and 10th streets near Avenue U, and then driven in Birdsall's Saab to East Canyon Lake Drive where they were dumped.

Less than a week later, 29 year-old Vaughn Ross was arrested and charged with capital murder for the crime. Ross was linked to the crime by DNA evidence taken from a bloody latex glove found in Birdsall's car. Ross' bond was set at $1 million. So, a-year-and-a-half later, where does this case stand now?

Vaughn Ross may have hidden his face from camera's back in February 2001, but he could not hide from authorities and today he remains locked up in the Lubbock County Jail awaiting his capital murder trial.

"It's capital murder. The allegation from the indictment is that Vaughn Ross intentionally killed two or more people," says Lubbock County First Assistant District Attorney, Matt Powell.

Powell says Ross' case is now ready to go to trial. Jury selection will begin in less than a month on August 5th. Powell says despite the fact that it has been a year-and-a-half since the murders, they have actually moved this complex case through as fast as justice allows.

"I don't consider that very long to tell you the truth. Especially with a case as complex as this one. There were so many issues as far as evidence is concerned, experts, witnesses, and we just had to get all the logistics in order before it could be tried," says Powell.

It appears at this point the families and friends of Douglas Birdsall and Viola Ross McVade, as well as Vaughn Ross, will all soon get their day in court. "We don't want to rush something just for the sake of rushing it if that's going to hinder the case," says Powell.

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