Murder of Joshua Niles and Amber Washburn by Tim Dean and Charlene Childers profiled on A Time To Kill

Mugshots of Tim Dean and Charlene Childers
Tim Dean and Charlene Childers were found guilty of murdering Joshua Niles and Amber Washburn. Pic credit: Wayne County Sheriff’s Office

A Time To Kill is examining the murder of Joshua Niles and his fiancé Amber Washburn who were gunned down in their driveway in Sodus, New York.

The killer was Tim Dean, and he’d traveled all the way from Texas at the behest of his wife Charlene Childers to murder Niles because she had lost out in a custody battle with her former partner.

On October 22, 2018, 28-year-old Joshua Niles was gunned down in his front drive. At the same time, his 24-year-old fiancé Amber Washburn pulled into the drive with Niles’s infant son in the back. The gunman turned his weapon towards Amber, and she quickly put the truck into reverse; unfortunately, she was too late, and she was also killed. The child was uninjured.

Niles’s ex-wife, Charlene Childers, hurried up from Texas to take care of the children. She told News10NBC, “whoever did it has made it so that my kids grow up without a dad, and that’s nothing a kid should ever have to do. Justice needs to be served. My kids need that closure.”

The problem was Childers had masterminded the killing after she’d lost custody of the children. She had persuaded her new husband and former police chief of the small town of Sunray, Texas, Timothy Dean, to kill Niles. He had not meant to kill Washburn, but she had tragically returned home at the wrong time.

Tim Dean had once looked to have a promising career in law enforcement; however, it started to fall apart after he was charged with child abuse of his own daughter, which caused him to lose his job as police chief. A short time later, Childers learned she’d lost her custody battle with Niles and decided to kill him.

Timothy Dean drove across the country to kill Joshua Niles

Dean acquired a firearm from the Sunray Police Dept. and had a friend rent him a car. He then set out on the 1600 mile trip to Sodus, NY, to kill Niles. The killer crashed his rental in Kansas, which caused Childers to drive to him and rent another car in her name. This incident caused the police to connect the pair to the shooting.

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Childers eventually admitted her guilt in an interview with the cops and agreed to testify against Dean. She pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Dean was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

More from A Time To Kill

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on A Time To Kill.

When Karen Pannell tried to break up with boyfriend Timothy Permenter, he reacted by stabbing her 16 times. He then tried to frame one of her ex-boyfriends.

Robert Denney stabbed his neighbor Corey Parker an incredible 101 times at her apartment in Jacksonville Beach, Fl., in 1998. The 17-year-old killer reportedly had a crush on his student neighbor.

A Time To Kill airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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