NEW YORK – A man accused in a cross-country killing spree says he doesn't remember shooting five of the six victims and "never meant to hurt anybody in any shape or form," a newspaper reported Wednesday.
"All I hear is screams," Paul Devoe III told Newsday in an interview at the Suffolk County jail in Riverhead.
Devoe, 44, was arrested last month after U.S. marshals tracked him to a friend's house on eastern Long Island. Devoe moved to Texas several years ago after spending much of his life on Long Island, authorities said.
He is accused of killing six people in Texas and Pennsylvania, including his ex-girlfriend, 46-year-old Paula Griffith, at a home near Austin in late August.
During the interview Tuesday, Devoe buried his face in his hands and wept as he recalled the events leading up to his arrest.
"I don't know," Devoe replied when asked if he was responsible for killing Griffith, her boyfriend, daughter and her daughter's friend. "If I am, I know I didn't mean it. I cared a lot about them."
Devoe says he went to Griffith's house because she was the one person he thought he could turn to after his gun accidentally went off in a bar fight, killing the bartender. Of the six slayings he is accused of, he said he only remembers the bar shooting, and he says that was unintentional.
After leaving Griffin's house, he said he drove through several states to Pennsylvania, drinking all the way. Authorities say he killed an elderly woman there to steal her car.
"I am truly sorry for what I did and the people I hurt," he said. "I never meant to hurt anybody in any shape or form. I don't know what happened."
Authorities in Pennsylvania, however, say Devoe confessed to killing 81-year-old Betty Jane Dehart.
Devoe allegedly told investigators he pulled off Interstate 81 because of mechanical trouble with the car he was driving. He said he found Dehart alone, sitting on the front porch of her Greencastle home, pulled out a handgun and chased her into the house, where he shot her once, police said.
Devoe's relatives have said that he had psychological problems and have suggested a rattlesnake bite may have set him off.
Devoe told Newsday that he had been bitten sometime in the week before the shootings. He said doctors prescribed a medication, but he never took it. Instead, he said, he went on a drinking binge.
"That's when everything went bad," Devoe said.