An Update to the Mary Eula Sears Case

The convicted killer of a prominent Abilene resident is set to be released.
An Update to the Mary Eula Sears Case
Wayne East, photographed at the Polunsky Unit, in Livingston, on September 28, 2011.

Wayne East, convicted of the 1981 murder of Mary Eula Sears (“ Who Killed Mary Eula Sears? ”), is set to be released from prison on November 10—less than two weeks from the anniversary of the murder. He’s going to be transported to Abilene, though Abilene Police Department chief Stan Standridge told the Abilene Reporter-News that he was appealing the release location. This was not unexpected; members of Abilene law enforcement have a decidedly unsympathetic view of East, who was sent to death row in 1982 but later received a life sentence after he pled guilty to the murder.

I can’t imagine East staying in Abilene for long, knowing powerful people don’t want him there. But he has family in Dallas, including his ex-wife, Tammy, and two of his children, Nichole and Michael. If folks in Abilene aren’t happy with East getting out, his Dallas kin are ecstatic. “Everybody’s waiting to see him, hear him, catch up on his time,” says Tammy. “Michael is so excited he can’t go to sleep,” Tammy continued, referring to the couple’s youngest, who has never actually met his father. “It’s going to be a reunion—there’s going to be tears of joy. I just want to see Michael’s expression when he sees his dad.”

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