July 2, 2022

Allegations of murder and mayhem swirl all around former defense legal professional Catherine Shelton

I’ve been a crime reporter due to the fact school and have included dozens of gruesome, weird, stranger-than-fiction cases more than the yrs. But almost nothing has captured my interest like the situations swirling around Catherine Shelton.

I satisfied Catherine Shelton back again in 2000 when she and her spouse were the prime suspects in a shotgun ambush of a married pair outdoors of Dallas the partner in the couple was killed and his spouse wounded. The wife straight away instructed police that Catherine Shelton was at the scene and had been the mastermind behind the attack. 

Both of those assailants experienced been donning masks, but the witness explained she regarded Shelton, who was her former boss, by her voice. I was a young producer at “48 Hours” at the time. It took me virtually 3 a long time to get Shelton to concur to job interview with us back again then.

Jenna Jackson
“For yrs, I have been tangled up in a bizarre match of cat and mouse with a woman named Catherine Shelton,” says “48 Hrs” contributor Jenna Jackson.

CBS Information

From the 1st time I achieved her, I was intrigued. She was intelligent and wily – you hardly ever understood what was heading to occur out of her mouth and irrespective of whether it was correct, partly correct, or just explained for shock value. Still, she was also guarded and gave really couple aspects when asked issues.

And did I mention she was a prison defense lawyer? She absolutely understood her way about the justice process.

Catherine Shelton has never been billed with a murder but she has back links to 5 adult males who have mysteriously died about the several years. She says which is not strange, offered her line of work.

“I am not a nurse,” she claims, laughing. But she’s the only prison defense lawyer I know who is personally related to that many abnormal fatalities.

I left CBS Information and “48 Several hours” in 2012 to go after other alternatives. I opened my possess output company, had young ones and produced a unique lifetime.

Jenna Jackson
“I’ve listened to a whole lot of outrageous crime tales in my existence. But nothing at all arrives shut to what’s in these containers: assaults, arrests, trials, disbarments — data and files from decades of Catherine Mehaffey Shelton’s wild and mysterious lifetime,” says Jackson.

CBS News

But I could not get Catherine Shelton out of my head. A couple of years ago, I pulled my outdated information out of the attic and began heading by them. I made a decision to text her and see if her outdated amount continue to labored. She received back again to me instantly and reported after all these years, she was prepared to talk. It was like she was waiting for me to contact.

Shelton’s partner is serving a life sentence for that shotgun ambush attack. Shelton was in no way billed in the crime whilst the previous prosecutor in the case told us that she is continue to deemed a individual of fascination. Shelton insists neither of them experienced nearly anything to do with it and is established to get her husband’s case overturned. That is the motive she says she preferred to converse to me again immediately after all these several years – but I advised her I wanted to look into all the conditions encompassing her, not just her husband’s.

Because then, Shelton and I have met a number of additional situations and have been engaged in a strange activity of cat and mouse. It really is often the very same — she’s coy, even playful. When I requested her why this sort of stuff just follows her all around, she explained, “I you should not know. I will not search the place I’m strolling. You know, I stumble into points.”

She retains hinting there is additional to tell me – that perhaps she’ll confess to one thing in advance of we’re completed. Is she responsible of just about anything? Some matters? Or is this all a coincidence? Specified how intelligent she is and the enormity of the venture, I understood I would require help to entirely examine these previous instances. I recruited two experts here in Houston to help me – Lisa Andrews, a former prosecutor identified as “the ice queen,” and Brian Benken, a expert private investigator and defense lawyer. They are equally consultants for “48 Several hours.” 

Benken, Jackson and Andrews
Brian Benken, still left, jenna Jackson, heart, and Lisa Andrews reinvestigate many of the allegations versus Catherine Shelton by means of discussions with individuals who realized her, dated her and investigated her, to in the end remedy the concerns of no matter if all of the accusations are just a coincidence or if Shelton is guilty of nearly anything.

CBS News

According to Benken, Shelton is “a legend close to Harris County … ’cause I nearly go again 40 many years down at the courthouse. And if you chat to any of the old prosecutors and protection lawyers from back in the day, they know all about Catherine.”

The controversy about Shelton started in the 1970s, when a romantic relationship with a fellow student allegedly turned violent. Ferris Bond advised us that right after they broke up, Shelton stole his automobile, shot at him with a shotgun and ultimately burned his apartment down in 1974. To get away from her, he says he joined the Marine Corps.

She denies all of people claims and was never ever billed with just about anything associated to Ferris Bond.

As a regulation pupil at University of Houston in the late 1970s, Shelton began courting an anesthesiologist named George Tedesco. By 1978, they were being in the middle of a horrible separation. Shelton sued Tedesco, saying they had been prevalent regulation married and she deserved half of his estate. As the situation progressed, Tedesco accused Catherine of stalking him and even burglarizing his property.

On the working day he was intended to demonstrate up in loved ones courtroom for a listening to, police learned him savagely crushed to death in his garage. Shelton and a former consumer of hers, Tommy Bell, had been later on named in a wrongful demise lawsuit by Tedesco’s relatives.  The household accused both equally of them of conspiring to get rid of the health practitioner.

Shelton was hardly ever charged in that dying – and the wrongful loss of life go well with under no circumstances made it to demo. Tedesco’s murder continues to be unsolved.

In Oct 1979, Shelton started a connection with a community newspaper reporter, Gary Taylor. Shelton mentioned she considered Taylor was fascinated in creating a story about her lawyer prowess – but statements his authentic motive was to get near to her and publish a tale about no matter if she had something to do with Tedesco’s loss of life.

They ended up acquiring pretty close. They experienced an affair which fairly swiftly unraveled. Shelton doesn’t even admit that they dated. She said, “I will not take into consideration him a relationship or something. He’s almost nothing.” Shelton and Taylor every say the other was the pursuer, but matters came to a head one particular night time in January 1980 when Shelton admits she shot Taylor in the back again.

Taylor states she lured him to her condominium less than the phony pretense that she could aid him get better items that had been burglarized from his residence, and then tried out to eliminate him. She claims she shot him in self-protection. Shelton was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Through the first trial, the jury deadlocked and the demo finished in a hung jury.

In the course of the second demo, Shelton claimed that Taylor experienced held a gun on her and mentioned she was seeking to get away from him, even although Taylor ended up having shot in the again. She was convicted and sentenced to 10 a long time in prison. But she by no means served any time – she appealed the verdict and remained out on probation though the charm was pending. The circumstance was overturned, and instead than likely as a result of a 3rd trial, Shelton  agreed to plead guilty to aggravated assault and serve probation. She was quickly barred from training regulation. She later confident a decide to set aside her conviction for shooting Taylor.

In the meantime, another man linked to Shelton turned up lifeless. Recall Tommy Bell, the previous consumer who was accused alongside with Shelton of killing George Tedesco by Tedesco’s household? He was found shot to loss of life in his condominium.  

His roommate, who was apparently in another area at the time, explained to police that Bell was actively playing Russian roulette and shot himself in the head. With just about no investigation, the death was ruled an incident.

We have because found out some curious new information that has under no circumstances been discovered about the situations surrounding Bell’s death.

Two strange fatalities and a taking pictures — and we have only made it to 1980 in Shelton’s lifestyle, which she describes as “boring.” In the decades to occur there would be fatalities of three extra folks with some connection to Shelton, and a whole lot additional mayhem.

It’s unachievable to address it all in just a person episode and that is why this tale turned into a unique two-aspect “48 Hrs”.  

To watch my bizarre journey with Catherine Shelton unfold, tune into “48 Several hours” for component a person of “Chasing Catherine Shelton,” airing April 30 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.