Christopher Hoefling Murder: Where Are Earl Martin and Jalil Fellows Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Murder Tapes: Help, I’ve Been Shot’ chronicles the bizarre 2017 murder of Christopher Hoefling in Evansville, Indiana. The investigators captured the perpetrators responsible for the crime within a couple of days. If you’re interested to know how the investigation panned out and the identities and current whereabouts of the killers, we’ve you covered.

How Did Christopher Hoefling Die?

Christopher “Chris” Eugene Hoefling was born to Gene and the late Melinda (Moye) Hoefling on October 29, 1997, in Evansville, Indiana. He was a high school football team regular and graduated from Memorial High School in 2016. After receiving his Building Trade Apprenticeship, Chris worked in landscaping and construction. A Holy Rosary Catholic Church member, he was very handy and enjoyed golfing and working out.

Moreover, his friend, Briget Aussin, described Chris as a shy fellow “who was really fun and outgoing once he came out of his shell.” Hence it was a shock when he was found missing after a car hijacking in Evansville on December 18, 2017, around 9:00 PM. Eventually, Chris’ body was found slumped in the passenger seat of a red Hyundai Sonata in the area of Washington on Lombard Avenue. According to police reports, he had been shot at least four times with a .380 handgun.

Who Killed Christopher Hoefling?

On December 18, 2017, an individual called 911 around 9:00 PM to report a shooting victim found lying in a parking lot behind Rick’s Bar in Evansville. Officers with the Evansville Indiana Police Department arrived at the scene to find 20-year-old Brandon Waldroup (Steve in the episode) in critical condition and wanting medical help. As the paramedics gave him immediate medical attention, the detectives tried to glean as much information from him as possible in his state. According to the episode, the officers asked Brandon whether he was at the bar, to which he replied he was only 20 and not old enough to go there.

Earl Bernard Martin

Brandon claimed he was in the parking lot in his father’s red Hyundai Sonata when a black older male with a tan jacket came up, shot him, and stole his car. While he was rushed to the nearby hospital, the detectives decided to go through the surveillance footage of the parking lot, hoping to catch some clues regarding the shooting. The surveillance footage corroborated Brandon’s claims as he could be seen waiting in his father’s red vehicle when a Black man was spotted walking over and stealing the car.

However, the officers could not clearly see the killer in the video. They decided to visit Brandon at the hospital, and he cooperated more with the authorities, admitting it was a drug deal gone wrong. But the case took a new turn when he claimed his friend, Chris, was also inside the car with him, and the assailant might have taken him away with the automobile. Brandon alleged he had been contacted by an acquaintance named Jalil, asking him to sell some marijuana to one of the latter’s known associates, Jeremiah.

Brandon further claimed his phone was inside the car, and the police had their first breakthrough in this bizarre case of attempted murder and kidnapping. They tracked his phone location and found it last pinged in the area of Washington on Lombard Avenue, about five to seven minutes from the crime scene. The authorities were sure they would find the stolen car somewhere in that residential area and located it on December 19 at around 6:23 PM. The police found Chris’ body slumped in the car’s passenger seat.

Jalil A. Fellows

The investigators subpoenaed Brandon’s phone records, initially to his disapproval, and found Jalil’s full name to Jalil A. Fellows, while the so-called Jeremiah was Earl Bernard Martin of 906 Bellemeade Avenue, Evansville. According to the show, the latter already possessed a rap sheet comprising prior robbery charges and was on parole. Hence, he was mandated to notify his parole officer about his residential address in the system.

The police located Earl at his home, and he agreed to come down to the station for questioning but lawyered up when the officers questioned him about Chris’ murder. He was arrested after police searched his home and found the murder weapon, a bag of weed, and some unspent shells. Jalil, then 26, was also arrested on December 21 on preliminary charges of murder and robbery with serious bodily injury. He had voluntarily come down to the station with his mother. He claimed he and Earl were co-workers and did not know about the shooting.

Earl Martin is Behind Bars, While Jalil Fellows is Out on Parole Today

On July 12, 2018, Jalil cooperated with the authorities and told the investigators he had conspired with Earl to have some “quick money.” When Earl asked if he knew someone they could rob, Jalil contacted Brandon and asked him to sell a half pound of marijuana. According to the show, Jalil expected Earl would rob the young drug dealer, and they would split the spoils. Albeit, he claimed he did not know Earl would end up shooting and murdering people.

Jalil’s claims were corroborated by the text exchange between him and Earl, and the police offered him a plea deal. The murder charges against him were dropped, and he was sentenced to five years in jail on charges of conspiracy of robbery on June 14, 2019, by Vanderburgh Circuit Court. According to court records, the 31-year-old was discharged on parole in April 2022 and now resides at Evansville Parole District.

Earl was charged with murder, robbery with serious bodily injury, murder attempted with a firearm, and kidnapping while hijacking a vehicle. He was handed the maximum 65-year sentence for murder, another 40 years for the attempted murder, along with three concurrent six-year terms for robbery and two 15-year sentence enhancements in February 2019. He would be 140 years old at his earliest possible release date of March 2119. The 41-year-old is serving his sentence at Carlisle’s Wabash Valley Level 3 Facility.

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