Westfield homicide suspect was ex-employee of father, husband of victims

Haley worked at Sundown Gardens until he was fired

WESTFIELD, Ind. - The suspect arrested in connection with a double homicide in Westfield was an ex-employee of the husband and father of the two victims, court documents said.

Christian Rene Haley, 20, was arrested Thursday on multiple preliminary felony charges, including two counts of murder, one count of robbery and one count of burglary.

Haley is accused in the Dec. 20 killing of Marylyn Erb, 52, and Kelley Erb, 23, in their Westfield home near 161st Street and Oak Park Court.

Court documents said that Haley was a former employee of Sundown Gardens, owned by Todd Erb. Haley worked there from March 18 until he was fired by Erb on June 19 for attendance problems.

Haley also stole jewelry, an iPhone and credit cards from the Westfield home, documents said. Officials said the credit cards were used several times around Indianapolis during the afternoon hours of Dec. 20.

During an interview, a person who knows the suspect told police that Haley told him he killed the two women, court documents said. The documents also said the acquaintance told police, "Haley stated he bashed their heads in with some cement or something."

The acquaintance also told police that Haley told him several months ago that he was going to rob an ex-boss because he was fired, documents said.

In an exclusive statement to RTV6, the family of Christian Haley said their "hearts and prayers go out to the victims' family and friends."

"This is a very dark hour, but as we pray for clarity and answers, we ask that people respect privacy, the court system and the due process," the Haley family said. "Ultimately, the facts will be gathered, truth will surface and justice will be served.

Haley had his initial court hearing at 1:15 p.m. on Friday. He requested a public defender and was granted one. 

Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Wehmueller said it is still early, but everything is on the table, including looking at the death penalty. He called the case a brutal murder.

"The allegation that this is a felony murder would cause this to be eligible for a death penalty or life without possibility of parole," Wehmueller said. "Whether or not we're at that point to make that decision is still a little early yet."

Also on Friday, friends and family gathered in Westfield for an afternoon burial service for the Erbs. In attendance was Westfield Mayor Andy Cook.

"I will tell you, they are a very strong family and they will get through this," Cook said.

Feb. 28 is the deadline for attorneys to file motions for the case. A pretrial date was set for March 18 with a jury trial set for April 14. Those dates are subject to change.

Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.

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