Texas Man Faces Capital Murder Charges in Slaughter of 6 Campers

Murder East Texas
Photo: Anderson County Sheriff's Office Mugshot

The man who allegedly killed four men, a woman and her 6-year-old while they were camping on their land in east Texas Saturday night now faces six counts of capital murder. The Anderson County District Attorney filed the additional charges on Thursday afternoon.

“There are no adequate words to truly describe this horrific and senseless act,” said Anderson County District Attorney Allyson Mitchell, in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Six members of two different, yet joined families are gone. Our hearts grieve for the Johnson and Kamp’s families and we will use all our resources to prosecute Hudson to the fullest extent of the law.”

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor reported that his office received warrants for six counts of capital murder from Mitchell’s office and the warrants were served on William Mitchell Hudson who remains in the Anderson County jail after being arrested on Sunday, in a different statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. Taylor said that autopsy reports from Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Gary Thomas revealed the manner of death for all six victims was homicide. No other details on the autopsies are available at this time.

The woman who managed to hide from the man who is now charged with killing her six camping companions told the story of her horrific night to Texas deputies. The woman lost her husband, daughter, a grandson and three others during the shooting rampage that occurred Saturday night in piney woods of east Texas.

In an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Cynthia Johnson told the story of the murders she witnessed. She said her group first encountered the suspect, William Mitchell Hudson, sometime on Saturday when he pulled up on an orange tractor and offered to help pull a car out of the mud where it was stuck.

Later that evening, he returned and sat around with the campers having a drink and socializing. Johnson said he then went into the woods with several members of the group. She later heard several gunshots.

Hudson then allegedly emerged from the woods and chased Carl Johnson, Cynthia’s husband, and Hannah Johnson, her daughter, into the camper trailer where the group had been staying on their camping trip.

Cynthia heard two more gunshots and witnessed her husband falling to the ground as he came out of the trailer. Fearing for her life, Cynthia hid until she felt safe to come out, the Morning Telegraph reported from the affidavit.

When she eventually came out, the affidavit does not indicate how long she hid, she used a cell phone to contact police who came quickly to her assistance.

Deputies discovered the bodies of Mr. Johnson and his daughter in the camper trailer. The location of the other bodies were not readily available. The four missing people were Hannah Johnson’s boyfriend Thomas Kamp, his two adult sons from a previous marriage and Hannah’s 6-year-old son, Kade.

The Anderson County sheriff’s deputies were joined by Texas Rangers and the Palestine Police Department to conduct the search of the crime scene.

The search led law enforcement officials to the property of Mr. Hudson. They discovered blood on the orange tractor Hudson had previously used to tow the car out of the mud at Kamp’s property. When they approached the door of the house, Hudson was visible inside and was covered in blood, the Morning Telegraph continued. He was barricaded inside his mother’s home on the same property where he lives.

Hudson eventually came out of the house and surrendered without incident.

Officials found the bodies of the four missing people, three adults and one child, in a pond located at the rear of Hudson’s property Monday afternoon, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Lauren York told Breitbart Texas in an interview Monday night.

Kamp purchased the 15-acre tract of land in August. There reportedly had used the land for camping on several occasions since purchasing it. The trip was scheduled to end on Sunday, according to Steven Woodruff, a spokesman for the family.

Hudson remains in custody in the Anderson County jail.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX