Graham couple gunned down without warning

Graham couple gunned down without warning
Brian and Beverley Mauck are seen in a family photo.
TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce County prosecutors on Tuesday filed aggravated murder charges against the man accused of killing a young couple in their Graham home.

Daniel Thomas Tavares Jr. pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry the possibility of the death penalty. He's being held without bail. Prosecutors have 30 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

According to a statement of probable cause filed in court, Tavares admitted to detectives that he shot Brian and Beverly Mauck last weekend in their home and tried to cover up the crime.

The court documents state that Tavares said he went to collect a $50 debt from Brian Mauck on Saturday morning and became upset when Mauck insulted him.

Tavares, 41, said he wasn't going to put up with being called a name "after spending 20 years in prison" and shot Brian in the face with a .22-caliber handgun, according to the documents.

Investigators said Beverly Mauck witnessed her husband's killing and tried to run away, but Tavares chased her down and shot her in the head. He dragged her body to where her husband was lying, placed her body over his and covered them both with a blanket because "he respected them," court papers said.

Fingerprint experts found a bloody palm print from Tavares on the front door of the Mauck's home, and shoe prints that match the unique tread design of a pair of shoes owned by Tavares.

Daniel Tavares initially told investigators he heard gunshots while he was in bed with his wife at their home.

He also described two men and a red truck he said he saw outside. "These various statements were later acknowledged to be lies," Deputy Prosecutor Gerald T. Costello said in the charging papers.

Daniel Tavares is also charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. He was forbidden to have a gun as a condition of his parole. He served 16 years in Massachusetts for manslaughter in the 1991 stabbing death of his mother.

Taveres' wife, Jennifer Tavares, was arrested for allegedly helping cover up the crime. Court documents indicate she told detectives that her husband was with her at the time the Maucks were killed, but later admitted to investigators that her husband was gone for about 20 minutes and he told her what he'd done.

She also told detectives that her husband threw the murder weapon off a cliff. Jennifer Tavares was charged Tuesday with rendering criminal assistance, a gross misdemeanor. She pleaded not guilty and posted $5,000 bail.

Brian Mauck worked for an Auburn air conditioning company and Beverly Mauck had a job as a clerk at a car dealership in McKenna.

"They're great people, they have a lot of friends, they have strong family ties. A lot of people we asked, they can't find a bad thing to say about them," said sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer.

Troyer said they had "the unfortunate luck of having this guy land next to them."

The Maucks were found dead on the morning of Nov. 17, in the living room of their home, with three close-range gunshot wounds to each of their heads, court papers said.

In court Tuesday, family and friends said they wanted Brian and Beverly remembered for how they lived.

"They both have a smile that resonates throughout the world," said Brian's sister Jennifer Heilbrun.

"They have lived more in their short lives than most people live in their entire life," added Bev's mother, Karen Slater.

A public memorial service for the Maucks will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at the new Federal Way Community Center.

The families of ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Violent Crime Victims Services at 1501 Pacific Avenue, Suite 201, Tacoma, WA 98402.