A man suspected of killing a young mother and her 1-year-old child argued with her about parental responsibilities on Sunday, before the two victims were shot in the head at Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir, according to an arrest affidavit.
Christopher Paul Weiss, 26, was arrested Tuesday on a first-degree felony charge of capital murder in the shooting deaths of Valarie Martinez, 24, and her young daughter, Azariah. Authorities said Weiss, a married man who recently moved to Temple, targeted Martinez and killed her and their young daughter early Sunday morning at McLennan Park 3, near Hallsburg.
According to the arrest affidavit, Martinez was found dead, lying outside her car with a gunshot wound to the head. Her daughter was found dead inside the car, still buckled into her car seat, with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities interviewed Weiss on Sunday. He said he met Martinez at her apartment at about 10 p.m. Saturday, according to the affidavit. He initially said he went home after their meeting, but later told investigators he lied and that he came back to the Waco area to see Valarie, according to the document.
“Christopher also stated that he was in a romantic relationship with Valarie until the weekend of October 30, 2017,” the affidavit states. “Christopher also stated that he believes he is the father of Valarie’s 1-year-old child.”
A witness told investigators that at one point, Martinez told Weiss that “she would make him pay child support if he was not going to be involved in the baby’s life,” the affidavit states. Weiss spoke with investigators and denied having an argument with Martinez about child support.
The affidavit states another witness told authorities he saw Martinez and Weiss arguing before Martinez agreed to meet Weiss at Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir. The affidavit states Martinez followed Weiss to the lake, but Weiss denied the arrangement, saying the last time he saw her was when he left her apartment.
The affidavit states that Weiss later said he had driven by Loop 340, near the lake, or in that area on the night of the murders.
Investigators met with another witness Monday. During that interview, Weiss allegedly called the witness, who put the call on speaker phone in front of the investigator, the affidavit states.
“Christopher admitted to lying during his interview on November 5, 2017 (with investigators) and added that he and Valarie talked about going to ‘TP&L’ or Tradinghouse Lake,” the affidavit states. “Christopher continued stating he would fail a polygraph test which he was scheduled and agreed to take but canceled on November 7, 2017.”
During his interview with detectives earlier, Weiss allegedly admitted to owning several guns and “reluctantly admitted to owning a .22 caliber revolver,” the affidavit states. He told investigators he kept his revolver in his truck, but the gun and a tool bag were stolen from his truck several months ago and he never reported the thefts.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said he could not comment on whether a .22 caliber revolver is the suspected murder weapon. He said detectives are waiting to receive preliminary autopsy reports for both victims.
Deputies received an arrest warrant for Weiss on Tuesday, and he was arrested the same day. McNamara said Weiss was traveling with his wife when authorities stopped his truck and took him into custody without incident.
Weiss was arrested in Bell County and was transported to McLennan County Jail early Wednesday morning. He remained jailed Wednesday night with bond listed at $1 million.