Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder by the Book: William Overson

Guilty Pleas

Jimmy Derieux
Jimmy Derieux

Behind the scenes, Jimmy Derieux was said to be livid at Fritz Bruce for turning their planned easy-money robbery into a murder. Derieux began angling to save his own neck. But by then detectives had accumulated a small mountain of evidence, and Derieux wasn't really needed to assure a conviction against Brucein part because police had already flipped the third conspirator, Dennis Earls. On Oct. 21, 2005, Derieux decided to cut his losses and plead guilty, following Earls' lead. Under the plea agreements, Derieux was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder. Earls was sentenced to six years for conspiracy.

Under his deal, Derieux agreed to give police a blow-by-blow account of the crime. He confirmed the informant's story that the meth heads believed Overson would be carrying as much as $60,000 to the bank that morning. Derieux and Bruce had cased the golf club to identify Overson and his vehicle. On the chosen morning, Derieux dropped Bruce at the ambush position, then drove his Ranger to the top of the canyon, where he watched through binoculars as the crime took place.

He said the plan went bad when Overson refused to stop and surrender his vehicle after Bruce pointed the rifle at him. He said he watched in horror as his criminal partner began blazing away with the .223. Derieux said he considered fleeing but decided to complete his role in the crime by driving to the rendezvous point for the getaway. He had motivation: the $60,000 the men believed was in the SUV. Derieux said that he had exchanged angry words with Bruce that morning and that they had not spoken since the murder.

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