A team from CBS newsmagazine 48 Hours was in Horseshoe Bay Monday to begin filming interviews relating to the November 2005 murder of Charlie White. In February 2008, Darin White, Charlie's youngest son, pled guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Llano County jury.
Correspondent Peter Van Sant and his New York production staff set up the meeting room at City Hall as a mini-television studio. CBS hired a free lance camera crew to do the actual filming.
The blinds were closed and the over head lights turned off to darken the room. The only lighting came from specially placed spotlights on stands surrounding two chairs facing each other in the middle of the room. Sound and recording equipment lined two walls of the room, and a viewing area with a closed circuit monitor was set up for the producer.
The camera crew set up their equipment before noon, in time for lunch at A Taste of Thyme. The interview with Sgt. Joey Gordon of the Texas Rangers began after 3 p.m. and ended at 10:30 p.m. Gordon interviewed Darin White at the HSB Police Department after Darin returned from New Mexico where he had fled after the murder.
Since Darin pled guilty to the crime, testimony about much of the law enforcement investigative and forensic work was not heard from the witness stand at the sentencing trial. Sgt. Gordon and two other Texas Rangers performed a support role to the HSB Police Department investigation. HSB Investigator Jay Bauman and Lt. Richard Baum testified at the sentencing trial in February, and CBS cameras were in the courtroom to record their accounts of the case.
Judge Dan Mills allowed the television cameras in the courtroom so long as they did not disrupt the proceedings. The cameras were concealed in two tall, slender wooden cabinets throughout the trial, unnoticed by the audience, and mostly forgotten about by the trial participants.
One of the questions yet to be answered by the conclusion of the murder case is who succeeds to Charlie White's money. White's will dated October 14, 2003, left all his assets to his revocable trust dated November 27, 2001. Charles White, Jr. was named Independent Executor of the will and is trustee of the trust.
On December 13, 2006, Charles White, Jr., in his capacity as trustee of the trust, filed a lawsuit regarding the disposition of some of the trust assets in the 424
th District Court of Llano County. The suit seeks to set aside the trust's gift of $1.5 million to the New Mexico Military Institute, since prior to his "unexpected death," Charlie White and NMMI had agreed that the gift would be revoked.
The suit also seeks to set aside a $100,000 gift to the "Marble Falls Hill Country Hospital Foundation" and a $50,000 gift to "Marble Falls Hospice" because, according to the petition, neither charity could be located, does not exist and has no successor entity.
White's trust lists a number of other charities as beneficiaries, including gifts of $50,000 each to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease, and Hill Country Higher Education Foundation. The trust gives $100,000 each to The W. Earl White Theater Center and the W. Earl and Emma White Hospice, both of Wichita Falls.
The Hill Country Community Theater and the Llano Memorial Hospital Foundation are given $25,000 each by the trust.
The trust calls for a distribution of $50,000 to Charlie White's son, Ronald Russell White, who, according to trial testimony, left home after high school and was not a part of his father's life. However, the trustee has not been able to locate Ronald, who is believed to be living in Palm Springs, California.
At this time, public records in the suit do not specify the total value of Charlie White's estate, nor the amount his sons Charlie, Jr. and Darin will receive from the trust.
Charlie had five children with his first wife, Gerda. Charlie White, Jr., born in 1954, is his eldest son. Ronald Russell White was born in 1955. His middle child, Lance, committed suicide. Charlie's only daughter was disabled from injuries sustained in an automobile accident when she was a child, and eventually died from the impact of those injuries. Darin, born August 17, 1967, is his youngest child. Charlie and Gerda divorced in 1975.
On Tuesday, the CBS crew moved their operation to Marble Falls for further interviews. An airing date for the program has not been set yet.