Slayings suspect was to be tested for paternity

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas man arrested in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her 1-year-old son was set to take a paternity test the day after they were killed, Arlington police said.

Police say 29-year-old Thomas Olivas of Bedford — desperate to avoid paying child support — stabbed to death 26-year-old Mechelle Danielle Gandy in March 2011 at her Arlington apartment before dousing the room where Asher Rion Olivas lay in his crib with gasoline and setting it on fire.

Olivas was arrested Monday night and remained in the Arlington jail Wednesday on a capital murder warrant in lieu of $1 million bail. An attorney was not listed for him.

"This suspect has been a person of interest from the very beginning," Arlington police Sgt. Chris Cook said Tuesday. "The family is very elated that he is in custody. Hopefully justice will be served."

Paternity testing after the boy's death showed Olivas was the father.

Police investigators said Gandy told a woman who was Olivas' girlfriend at the time of the slayings that Asher was born after Gandy and Olivas had an affair. In the days leading up to the slayings, the girlfriend said she confronted Olivas about the affair but he denied it and denied Asher was his son.

The former girlfriend told police Olivas was working two jobs and that paying child support would have been financially devastating.

Detectives found Facebook correspondence between the girlfriend and Olivas where he called Asher "the devil's child."

Police interviewed Olivas the day after the slayings, and he told police that he last spoke to Gandy the day of the slayings because she told him she needed help understanding some legal papers related to the child support claim.

He told police he drove to Arlington to meet with her but couldn't find her apartment. Cellphone records showed he was in Arlington for about four hours and was less than a mile from her apartment at one point.