HOUSTON In a jailhouse interview Wednesday, a Houston pastor charged with murder in his wife s shooting death denied the allegations against him.
Pastor Tracy Burleson and his son are both facing murder charges in the slaying of Pauletta Burleson. A woman said to be romantically involved with both the pastor and the son is charged evidence tampering in the case.
Burleson admitted to having a mistress and said he just recently found out that his son was involved with her, too.
I want them to know that I love being the pastor at the church and I am so sorry for the adultery. But I want them to know I did not kill my wife, Burleson said.
But Burleson s son, William Fuller, told investigators a different story.
According to documents read in a probable cause hearing Wednesday, Fuller admitted to investigators that he shot and killed his stepmother in a murder-for-hire plot allegedly devised by the pastor.
Pauletta Burleson was shot to death in the driveway of her northeast Harris County home on May 18.
I would never tell my son to do anything like that Pastor Burleson said. I didn t pay my son. I didn t have no money to pay my son.
On the night of the shooting, Burleson told police he and his wife had been in a fight. He said he d gone to the store to buy some potato chips and a candy bar, and when he returned, he found her body in the driveway.
Investigators said they found holes in that story. Investigators said the pastor did not have any chips or candy bars in his possession when he returned, and the store he claimed to have bought them from closed at 10 p.m. that night.
Investigators named him a person of interest the next day.
I was already eating them and at the same time I didn't think I would come home and find my wife shot, said Burleson.
According to documents read in court Wednesday, a neighbor told investigators he heard arguing in the pastor s driveway between 10 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., and another neighbor reported hearing gunshots around that same time.
Meanwhile, in a separate probable cause hearing Wednesday, the alleged mistress, Tyonne Palmer, went before a judge.
Investigators said Palmer assisted the gunman after he called and told her the pastor s wife had been shot.
According to police reports, Palmer picked up the gunman, drove him to get cleaned up and assisted in burning the gun used in the shooting.
The judge set Palmer s bond at $50,000.
Pauletta Burleson s death came just a week after Pastor Burleson s historic church burned to the ground.
Firefighters arrived at the First New Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Gregg at Noble around 2:35 a.m. on May 12 to find the entire building engulfed in flames.
The church, which was first organized in 1917 and rebuilt in 1965, was a total loss.
When 11 News left the jail Wednesday, there were several arson investigators waiting to talk with Burleson.
Investigators have said they have still not determined what caused the fire at the church.