UNLV Law School graduate among 5 family members found dead in Phoenix

PHOENIX — A UNLV law school graduate and two baby twins were among five family members found dead at their north Phoenix home in what authorities say is currently under investigation. investigation as a murder-suicide.

Police said two adults and three children showed obvious signs of trauma, but the cause of death has not been released.

The five were identified by police on Thursday as Jasen Michael Hudgens, 44, Marla Jordan Hudgens, 40, and the couple’s three children – Christopher, 3, and 6-month-old twin daughters Gwen and Faye. .

Authorities said Jasen Hudgens would be the only suspect in the homicide case and was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Marla Hudgens was a partner at the law firm Lewis Roca and practiced in both Arizona and Nevada. A statement on the company’s website says she and her family died on Wednesday.

“We are shocked and overwhelmed with grief,” the statement read. “Marla was a passionate lawyer and defended her clients. She was an equally passionate leader who worked tirelessly to make our firm a better place. Her impact on the business, particularly on women’s equity and inclusion, will endure for years to come. »

According to the website, she graduated from Boyd Law School at UNLV in 2008 and served as a clerk for Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty.

The website described her as a litigator who also practiced administrative and regulatory law. He also described her as a lifelong competitive football player and coach.

Police say details of what led to the murders are still being investigated, but initial reports indicate there were open propane tanks inside the home and a line gas that was not connected to a kitchen appliance.

The Hudgens’ babysitter reportedly called 911 after entering the house Wednesday morning and finding one of the bodies.

Police, city firefighters and hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene after a report of a possible gas leak, and authorities said gas was detected at the home.

Officers did not enter the home for several hours for security reasons, but reported finding the five bodies after securing the home around noon.

“Not only is this devastating for the first responders who had to respond and witness what’s inside, but this neighborhood is very united, including loved ones and family members who are connected to this house and to this residence,” said Sgt. Melissa Soliz, a police spokeswoman, called the death a “total tragedy”.

Jon J. Epps