“It’s really, really bad!” This is how Melissa Oxley described the shocking scene at her home in Minden, Nevada, in the early morning hours of February 21, 2008 on an 911 call. Her husband, Ben Oxley, had just been shot while he was sleeping.
Melissa woke up to hear a noise that she finally realized was the shotgun that killed the man she’d married two years earlier at a wedding that was a second chance to love Ben. He had previously tied the knot and had a daughter, Alyssa, of whom he had custody, but that marriage ended in a less amicable divorce.
Covered in Ben’s blood, Melissa desperately called for help. “It was one of the more terrifying scenes I’ve seen,” Douglas County Sheriff Jon Storke told Killer Motive. ventilation Saturdays at the 6 / 5c on Oxygen.
It quickly turned into a scene full of questions – Boss among them: How could Melissa claim she hadn’t heard, considering that she was only inches from her husband when he was killed?
When police searched Oxley’s home, they found shotgun ammunition in the bedroom of Melissa’s teenage brother, Craig, who lived with the couple. They also showed up guns in the garage.
Minutes after the case, there were two suspects.
When Melissa was questioned by police about the murder, she explained to investigators that she was sleeping very well, but that seemed incredible. Meanwhile, Craig was being grilled over the shotgun shells in an interrogation room in the hallway.
Despite Melissa and Craig’s disapproval of wrongdoing, there was too much evidence to be released, according to Killer Motive. The siblings were given a bullet residue test that showed if any of them had recently fired a gun. The test was negative for both of them.
Melissa allowed her 6-year-old stepdaughter, Alyssa, to be questioned gently by the police. The girl told them that she heard a door creak and saw a figure in her house, but didn’t know if it was a man or a woman.
At the time, Melissa said a former friend of Ben’s ex-wife Dawn could be a possible suspect. Dawn’s ex had a recording and is said to have been dissatisfied with the way Ben treated Dawn. However, investigators found that he was out of town at the time of the murder.
When police went to Dawn’s house to speak to her about the murder, she said she and her current boyfriend, James Matlean, had been together all night watching movies and drinking. Their alibis seemed to be checking out.
Melissa was watched while Alyssa moved in with her birth mother. Three months after the murder, investigators learned that she received her husband’s $ 400,000 life insurance policy. They also discovered that the young widow was already together. Red flags sprang up.
Sgt. Ron Elges of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said Melissa never asked about the insurance money and did not appear to bother about the payout. Despite early suspicions, the focus on Melissa waned. She was identified as a suspect.
In an interview with Troy Roberts, the moderator of “Killer Motive”, the soft spoken Melissa said that shortly after Ben’s death she saw other men because she wanted “a normal life” despite everything. Then, if she didn’t try to pick up the pieces, she said, she “probably never would”.
Five months after the Ben Oxley murder, one killer was still at large. Investigators turned to Dawn Oxley, whose relationship with the victim was complicated. After their divorce, she lost custody of Alyssa and had to pay child support. There was a river of bad blood.
When examining Dawn’s claim that she and James, who owned a rap sheet, had been together the night of the murder, investigators found loopholes in her claims of being home all night watching movies . The surveillance video from a 7-Eleven showed James in the store. Your alibis were wrong.
Detectives strategically got Dawn and James going. They followed them for six months and let them know they did. Every time James was arrested for a minor offense like stealing cigarettes, it was another opportunity to question him about Ben’s murder.
Despite months of “hardball tactics”, investigators said James never cracked. Dawn was a different story, however. She turned to the police and said she was ready to speak about her ex-husband’s murder. Officials found that she was drunk when she came to speak.
She admitted that she had expressed her anger over her relationship with her ex-husband, but said she never directly asked James to kill him. The fact that Dawn was drunk when she told this story spoiled the testimony and possibly made it unreliable.
But in November 2009, a sober dawn took advantage of another opportunity to outline her story of Ben’s murder. She was arrested for DUI and has been in jail for two weeks – no cigarettes, no alcohol, no factors that tarnish reality.
That same month, Dawn’s 16-year-old son from a previous marriage, Devin, told investigators that he had heard his mother tell James that she wanted Ben dead.
With only circumstantial evidence against Dawn, prosecutors made a deal: she would run if she testified against James.
It was like “making a deal with the devil,” said Ben’s brother Billy to “Killer Motive”.
After James learned that Dawn testified against him, he revealed how deeply Dawn was involved in the murder. She had drawn a map of Ben’s house so he knew where to go to execute him. James added another terrifying revelation: Dawn had asked him to kill Melissa too, but aAfter James fired a bullet into Ben’s head, he said he could no longer pull the trigger.
On March 16, 2012 he has plead guilty first degree murder. He was sentenced to life without parole.
Before being sentenced, Dawn was arrested in March 2011 for the involvement of her 15-year-old daughter from a previous marriage in several drug deals, according to “Killer Motive”. She was sentenced to 90 months in prison and released in 2014.
To learn more about the case, check out “Killer Motive” Saturdays at the 6 / 5c on Oxygen, or stream episodes on Oxygen.com.