Susan Woods Wiki
Susan Woods Biography
On July 28, 1987, her father found the body of Susan Woods, 30, in her Stephenville, Texas home, partially submerged in the bathtub. The coroner determined that she died of suffocation caused by strangulation or drowning and had died two to three days earlier, the Stephenville Empire-Tribune reported.
Woods’ murder remained unsolved for 20 years until new DNA technology allowed Lt. Don Miller of the Stephenville Police Department to identify a suspect, Joseph Scott Hatley, based on fingerprints found at the crime scene, he reported. the middle. Authorities were surprised that the DNA on the cigarette butts and fingerprints matched Hatley’s because he hadn’t been on his radar until then, the Empire-Tribune wrote.
Hatley, who was a cousin of Woods’ best friend, was charged with his murder while in jail and faced aggravated sexual assault charges in another case, the outlet reported. She confessed to Woods’ murder a week before his trial in 2007 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Where is Joseph Scott Hatley, the convicted murderer of Susan Woods, today?
Hatley Was Released From Prison in 2018 After Serving Only 11 Years of a 30-Year Sentence
In 2007, Hatley was sentenced to 30 years in prison after confessing to killing Woods in 1987, but was released after just 11 years in 2018, the Empire-Tribune reported in August 2018. According to the outlet, Hatley was released from the Hunstville Prison at the age of 52 and on his way to a Midland rehab facility for several months.
Many expressed shock at his early release, with his son Nicholas Hatley telling the Empire-Tribune that he was not “sure” why Hatley obtained an earlier release and that he believed the community should be informed about the release. liberation from him.
Miller, who was instrumental in Hatley’s arrest, said: “It is not uncommon for long prison terms to be greatly reduced due to prison overcrowding,” but he expressed disappointment at the decision. Woods’ best friend, Cindy Hayes, who is Hatley’s cousin, told the outlet, “I think he’s a monster. The public should know that he is out of prison. ”
According to Texan News, Hatley still lives in Texas, although not much is known about his life since he was released from prison.
Hatley Was Accused of Rape & Attempted Murder Shortly After Woods’ Death But Was Never Indicted
Hatley was also charged with rape and attempted murder by a 16-year-old girl in Erath County about a year after Woods’ murder, but a grand jury decided not to charge him in that case. Miller spoke to that woman 20 years later while investigating Woods’ murder and told the Empire-Tribune: “She was still scared and in hiding. Hatley allegedly sodomized and nearly killed her in a roadside park on Highway 281. ”
The Stephenville Empire-Tribune spoke to the victim, who described what Hatley did and said that while he was assaulting her she told him that she had killed a woman named Susan before her. He said that he told the authorities everything, but that the grand jury did not charge him for lack of evidence.
She said when she learned of his early release: “My life stopped again the day he was released. This should never have happened. The justice system is broken. “