Noel Wilkerson Holmes
John Bryan Finch was found guilty and sentenced to 72.5 years in prison for the murder of Lindsey Wadkins a young mother from Jourdanton. “We are pleased with the verdict and sentence of the jury,” said 81st District DA Audrey Louis. “Lindsey’s family has waited four long years for justice. Today justice was served. We hope this will bring some peace and closure to the Wadkins’ family.”
The trial was held at the Atascosa County Courthouse with retired District Judge Stella Saxon presiding. Jury selection began May 28 with testimony starting on May 29. Finch, a resident of Charlotte at the time of his arrest, was found guilty on Monday. Sentencing began on Tuesday morning and was not decided until after 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.
“I’m extremely pleased with the jury’s verdict and of course their service,” said Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward. “They put in a lot of hours on this case. Lt. Investigator Wayne Stratton and several other members of the sheriff’s office along with Texas Ranger Shane Staley did a tremendous job on this investigation. They took the best case possible to District Attorney Audrey Louis and her staff who were great. But, in the end, it’s justice finally for Wadkins’ family. That’s the most important.”
Lindsey Wadkins’ body was discovered by a motorist on Taylor Road, one mile north of Jourdanton on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 right before 11:00 pm. She had been shot multiple times. The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) assisted by the Texas Rangers worked 18 hours a day to find the persons responsible for her murder. Under the direction of ACSO Sheriff Soward, Chief Investigator Jake Guerra supervised a team of seven investigators that immediately began working on the case, interviewing potential witnesses and following up on leads.
Less than a week later, on June 24, 2014, Lt. Investigator Wayne Stratton of the ACSO filed complaints and obtained arrest warrants for two Atascosa County residents suspected of the murder – Finch and Naomi Delgado. Delgado of Jourdanton who was 29 at the time was arrested that day on a charge of murder. Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office identified Finch who was also 29 at the time as the alleged shooter. Finch went on the run and was arrested on July 9, 2014, at a residence in Charlotte hiding in a closet wrapped up in a bedspread comforter.
The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office had requested assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Lone Star Fugitive Task Force. A team of 20 officers from the Task Force and the Sheriff’s Office began the joint operation just before noon on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. While in Charlotte, Sheriff’s investigators located a key person of interest, driving near Finch’s family’s residence and conducted a traffic stop. Task Force officers interviewed the driver, who had been identified in a tip to Atascosa County Crime Stoppers as allegedly assisting Finch in eluding apprehension.
Investigators had previously interviewed the subject about ten days earlier and he denied any knowledge of Finch’s whereabouts. The subject gave consent to the officers to look in his home, located on North Edwards Street, two blocks off Highway 97 in Charlotte. Officers who had the residence under surveillance conducted a search of the house and two sheriff’s investigators located Finch hiding in a closet. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Atascosa County Jail. Sheriff Soward stated that the bond on Finch for the murder charge was set at $1,250,000 dollars by Justice of the Peace Jackie Bodden.
Sheriff Soward at that time stated that his department was continuing their investigation into the case. The sheriff said, “We will not stop until we have overturned every stone in this investigation, I anticipate more arrests.” Sheriff Soward noted that Atascosa County Crime Stoppers played a big part in the case.
Naomi Delgado’s bond was increased and set at $500,000 in July 2016. She is currently out on bond. The third alleged murder suspect Samantha Jones was arrested by ACSO in July 2016 and her bond was also set at $500,000. Jones remains in jail.