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Marble Falls man gets life for 2022 murders

William Allen Rutland

William Allen Rutland, 52, pleaded guilty to capital murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Jan. 30 for the killings of Teresa Gail McDowell and her brother John Arnold McDowell in September 2022. Burnet County Jail photo

A Marble Falls man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of two siblings in 2022. William Allen Rutland, 52, pleaded guilty to charges of capital murder of multiple persons on Jan. 30 in the 33rd District Court of Judge Allen Garrett for the Sept. 13 killings of Teresa Gail McDowell, 52, and John Arnold McDowell, 49.

These were the first murders in Marble Falls since 2017.

“The swiftness of justice in this case is a direct reflection of the diligence and dedication of the law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene and followed through with the investigation,” stated 33rd and 424th District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee in a media release. “We’re grateful to Marble Falls Police Department, the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, Granite Shoals Police Department, and the Texas Rangers for their work on this case and their efforts to bring Rutland to justice.”

Rutland was arrested after law enforcement arrived at a home on Cedar Park Drive in Marble Falls in response to a 911 call from Teresa McDowell at about 1:50 a.m. on Sept. 13. He turned himself in after officers found McDowell dead of an apparent gunshot wound. They soon found her brother John McDowell with several gunshot wounds. He died from his injuries before medical attention could be provided. 

Rutland was living at the home and had a known dating history with Teresa McDowell, according to the media release. Investigators believe McDowell might have been attempting to evict or remove Rutland from the property at the time of the killings. 

Rutland did not have to take responsibility for his actions, Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Clark told He could have taken the case to trial.

“I can’t get into his head. I can’t tell you if he is remorseful,” she said. “He walked out of the house and was taken into custody cooperatively. He made it through the plea, but he was stammering. You could tell there was a sense of emotion in his voice.”

The victims’ family members were able to make statements after Rutland’s sentencing, despite the lack of a hearing.

“The law allows for the families of victims to have their voice heard after a defendant is sentenced,” reads a statement from Clark in the media release. “The power of their words sends a strong message to the defendant of the impact of his actions and serves as a reminder to me as a prosecutor of why we fight for justice and to protect victims.”