Jasen Hudgens Phoenix man kills lawyer wife Marla, their infant twins, young son and self in murder suicide. Prominent attorney wife wanted divorce.
A Phoenix man killed his prominent lawyer wife, their young son, 6-month-old twin daughters, before fatally shooting himself inside the family’s home that was filled with cooking gas, police said.
Investigators said Thursday the tragedy is being investigated as a murder-suicide, with the father, 44-year-old Jasen Michael Hudgens, believed to be the lone suspect in the homicide.
The victims were identified Thursday as Hudgens’ wife, 40-year-old Marla Jordan Hudgens, and the couple’s three children — 3-year-old Christopher and 6-month-olds Gwen and Faye.
According to officials, the two adults and three children had obvious signs of trauma, but the causes of death have not been released as of Friday.
Cops did say that Jasen Hudgens was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, AZ Family reported.
‘A complete tragedy’
Marla Hudgens’ friends said her and Jasen’s marriage was unhappy and she wanted to end it, but they never thought it could lead to violence, let alone claim the lives of their children.
Cops responded to the Hudgens family’s home on Augusta Avenue just before 8 a.m. Wednesday after the family’s baby-sitter discovered their bodies and called 911.
Police said there were open propane tanks inside the home and a gas line that wasn’t attached to a kitchen appliance.
It took hours for hazmat teams to get rid of the gas and secure the home before police could safely access the crime scene, which they finally did around noon, where they made the macabre discovery of five bodies.
‘Not only is this devastating to the first responders that had to respond and witness what’s inside, but this neighborhood is very close-knit including the extended loved ones and family members that are related to this home and this residence,’ said Sgt. Melissa Soliz, a police spokesperson, who called the incident ‘a complete tragedy.’
Marla Hudgens was a well-regarded partner at the Phoenix law firm Lewis Roca. She was also heavily involved in charity work and coached a girls’ soccer team.
Her husband worked for the local utility company SRP, the firm’s representatives confirmed in a statement to Fox 10.
Close friends spoke with lawyer wife night before shooting
According to her friends speaking to AZ Family, Marla became a mother for the first time in her late 30s after struggling with infertility. It was soon after that the couple’s marriage begun unraveling, with wife Marla seeking a divorce.
‘We never had any indication from her that she felt scared or threatened or unsafe,’ said her close friend Brett Hagerty.
Another friend, Khanh Andersen, along with Hagerty said he had talked with Marla Tuesday night, the evening before the bloodletting, planning upcoming concerts and cruises together, with no inkling that anything was about to happen.
‘What do you mean all of them? Like what do you mean all of them?’ said Andersen.
‘We knew that that marriage was likely ending,’ added Hagerty.
Andersen went on to say that the tragedy came just two months after Marla’s sister committed suicide.