October 26, 1997
San Marcos, California
Susan Eubanks (33) fatally shoots her four sons before shooting herself
At the time of the murders, Susan was going through a divorce from her estranged husband Eric Eubanks and was living with her boyfriend Rene Dodson. On October 26, Susan and Dodson went to a local bar to watch a football game. Another couple approached their table to join Susan and Dodson, though Susan did not want the second couple to join them due to a prior argument involving both women. Dodson decided to go to a different bar because Susan was upset.
While driving, Susan and Dodson began arguing, with Susan accusing Dodson of taking the other woman’s side. Susan then slapped Dodson. When she realized they weren’t going to another bar, Susan put the vehicle into the parking gear as it was traveling 30 mph (48 km/h) and grabbed the car keys. Dodson retrieved the keys and the couple returned home where the argument continued. Eventually, Dodson decided to end his relationship with Susan.
Around 6 p.m., Eric Eubanks received a voicemail from Susan simply stating, “say goodbye.” Eric was concerned about the message and the fact Susan was known to own a gun, and called the sheriffs department to perform a welfare check on the family.
In the home, the authorities found the boys and Susan had been shot. Brandon Armstrong (14) was killed in the living room; he had been shot in the temple and neck. The three younger boys had been shot in their bedroom: Austin Eubanks (7) had been shot near his left eye, Brigham Eubanks (6) was shot above his left ear and near his right ear, and Matthew Eubanks (4) had been shot in the top of his head. Matthew was alive when he was found but died the following day. Susan had a self-inflicted gun shot wound to her abdomen from which she recovered. Also in the home was Susan’s nephew, Aaron Storm Stanley (5), who was left physically unharmed.
Susan was convicted of her sons’ murders and sentenced to death. She is currently awaiting her execution on death row.
CDCR Inmate Locator. https://inmatelocator.cdcr.ca.gov/Details.aspx?ID=W82266
Littlefield, Dana. “Death sentence OK for mom who killed sons.” The San Diego Union-Tribune. September 3, 2016. Accessed: October 26, 2019. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-death-sentence-stands-for-mom-who-killed-4-sons-2011dec19-story.html?_amp=true
Supreme Court of California. PEOPLE v. EUBANKS. 53 Cal.4th 110 (2011). THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. SUSAN DIANNE EUBANKS, Defendant and Appellant. No. S082915. 134 Cal. Rptr. 3d 795. 266 P.3d 301. December 19, 2011
Marshall, Scott. “Convicted murderer does not testify as penalty phase of trial ends.” North a county Times. September 2, 1999
Marshall, Scott. “Eubanks trial starts.” North County Times [Oceanside, California]. August 10, 1999
Booth, D. Wade and Brooks, Harry. “Fourth boy dies from shooting.” The Californian [Temecula, California]. October 28, 1997