Posted by BOC Staff | Debra Jeter,Kelsey Jeter,Kiersten Jeter,Lee Jeter,Murdered | Saturday 5 June 2010 5:51 pm


Hillsboro, Tx– Exactly one year ago today, Debra Janelle Jeter slit the throats of both her tween daughters, Kelsey and Kiersten, one day after the restraining order against her expired. Kelsey died in the attack.


According to family friend Robert Miller, Debra, who used her middle name Janelle, told her estranged husband Lee Jeter that she had a surprise waiting for their daughters that evening when she picked up Friday evening June 5, 2009.


Janelle had been in court the week before to request visitation after a failed suicide attempt on May 21, 2009, while her daughters were in her home.  Following the attempt, Janelle was sent to a mental health facility in Waco Texas. Lee Jeter filed a restraining order against her in the meantime expressing concern his wife might harm the children when she was released.

Hill County Judge, A. Lee Harris, granted the UNSUPERVISED visitation request of a woman who had attempted suicide in front of her children less than 3 weeks before.

However, on a positive note, Judge Harris did RE-ISSUE a restraining order following the murder of Kelsey and the attempted murder of Kierstan. Helpful follow up considering one was deceased, one in ICU and the other in a jail cell (snark alert).

Four hours after Janelle Jeter picked up Kierstan and Kelsey, Hill County Sheriff received a 911 call from a woman refusing to identify herself,  alleging she killed one of her children, and the other was asking to be saved. She refused to give her name, and never referenced either one of her daughter’s by name. At one point, Jeter calls the 911 operator a bitch.

*GRAPHIC WARNING* Listen to the 911 Call of Debra Janelle Jeter Here.

Although Jeter was living with her Mother in Corsicana, cell phone records indicate she drove there from Lee Jeters residence and back, in search of an abandoned house location.

In an abandoned farmhouse in on 77 off route 35 in Hillsboro Debra, who goes by her middle name, Janelle, began her knife wielding attack, where Kiersten attempted to shield her younger sister and sustained stab wounds to her back. Janelle continued on to cut the throat of Kelsey in the bathroom, and then Kiersten in a bedroom.

When Police arrived, Jeter had placed the knife on top of her vehicle in the garage, and surrendered without incident.

After filings by her attorney that Jeter was mentally incompetent to stand trial, and a psychiatrists affirmation that she was indeed competent, Jeter pled guilty to the murder of Kelsey to avoid the death penalty.

As part of the plea agreement, on June 2nd, the 911 calls were released to the media.

Prior to moving Jeter to her new cell, where she will spend the rest of her natural life without the possibility of parole, Janelle Jeter met with her former husband and Kiersten Jeter to apologize.

To date, Ms. Jeter has refused all media requests, and refuses to reveal the motive for her attacks on her daughters.

Rest In Peace Kelsey “Bella” Jeter.

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  1. Mom3.0 says:

    Not again, Blink! Why oh why wasn’t it at least supervised visitation? I don’t even have the words, and I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the 9111 tape. Such a huge unnecessary tragedy. My condolences to the family and to her sister.

    We always ask why weren’t there signs?- maybe if there were we could have prevented this…. So very sad.

    There were many signs, this is negligence on behalf of Hill County Family court and I dare someone to tell me differently.

    The burden on any family court judge resides with the “best interests of the child”.
    Reports indicated this was some sort of joint decision, that is flatly false. The motion was contested, and the Mother won the visitation, and she killed a daughter and nearly killed the other.

    You are right, there are no words, except those on the 911 call, and I know it is wrong, but I want to play them on a loop in the courthouse. How does one make a stand about this any other way?

  2. Mom3.0 says:

    Yes Blink, I wrote that badly, my apologies, what I meant to say is-

    We always ask why weren’t there signs?- maybe if there were we could have prevented this… this time there was and we didn’t. So very sad.

    Her sweet, bright, little face will be etched into my mind forever, may she RIP.

  3. [...] that has to be read to be believed. Read the heinous story and listen to the chilling 911 call at Blink On Crime. Share [...]

  4. ClassyGal says:


    I really feel like there are 2 major gaps here.
    1. The obvious- the family court judge granting the visitation.
    2. The district judge that allowed the plea without requiring the motive. He has the sole burden of accepting the plea or setting it aside.

    It’s not like the DA could not have charged her with the death penalty case of Kelsey and withheld prosecution of the attempted murder of Kiersten if necessary. Common Practice, with a quarter of the evidence in this case.

  5. mag603 says:

    Was the meeting with Keirsten part of the agreement? What a courageous girl to go back and face her mom and after the horrific ordeal she endured.

    It was.

  6. Mrs C Hop says:

    she calls her daughter “baby” after she cuts her throat and she is lying there bleeding to death begging for her momma to save her …

    “one of them is dead dead”…

    I am with you B F*** a plea DEATH PENALTY and just loop the 911 for trial …

    maybe her surviving daughter wanted the plea.. what a little angel

    I believe part of the decision was to spare Kiersten, allow I have also read she was prepared to testify.
    That is why I felt there was a solid enough case just on Kelsey’s murder, the prosecution could have withheld the attempted murder charges; although I am not well versed in Texas statutes I admit.

    I am not getting past the calculatedness of this, the decision to let her take the girls unsupervised, and then the ability to plea, and “because of safety concerns” she did so outside the courtroom, never facing her accusors, and of course no witness impact statements. Something is not right here.

  7. Mrs C Hop says:

    im not too thrilled with the 911 operator either, whats up with all the super long silences are they not trained to keep asking questions get details, get info, keep them on the line, keep her away from the dying child who’s throat she just cut …??

    I honestly think she was afraid she would hang up on her. I think in her mind she was assessing at first if this woman was for real, and then when she would not give her name, and based on her tone and statements, I would not have been of the mind to push her either. Janelle already told her she was not going to help her because she could not handle it.

  8. Moon says:

    this is so sad. how can a mother do that to her children? i feel bad when i step on an ant hill and this woman can slash her daughter’s throat and not try to save them? i do not understand these people’s brains. sick. people should truly have to take emotional IQ tests and mental health evaluation tests in order to have children. mom is a coward to avoid death penalty and daughter is truly strong to see let her mom apologize and testify. what a darling and i hope she can promptly get some counseling to live a happy, productive life. i can’t bring myself to listen to the 911 call.

  9. mag603 says:

    I agree about the 911 operator. She knew one child was still alive — and that is was a volatile situation. That woman had a knife and could finish what she started. The opearator didn’t want to set her off. She was trying to keep her calm.

  10. PamVA says:

    This woman is not crazy. She is simply a spiteful bit$h just like Casey Anthony. If she couldn’t take care of her children then no one else could either. It seems like children are just easy prey these day not only perverts but more often their own parents! I know God has a plan for all of us but I just can’t understand when it involves our children.

  11. Sweetpea says:

    Sorry to get off topic, but this morning I awoke to the news that 7 year old Kyron Hormon of Portland, Oregon is missing. He and his stepmother went to school early Friday morning to set up his science project. They even took a photo of Kyron looking very proud standing in front of the science project. The step mother last saw him a 8:45 walking to his class, but he never arrived there.

    The family didn’t even know he was missing until he didn’t arrive home from school later that afternoon. The police say that due of the long time period they are definitely behind the ball.

    My God we can’t even feel safe about leaving our children inside a school bldg.

  12. sandyeggo says:

    Wow. What an awful woman. I feel for the surviving child. So sad.

    O/T: Your narrative switches halfway thru and says that Kiersten was the one who died (“Jeter pled guilty to the murder of Kiersten to avoid the death penalty).” semi-confusing, just thought you might want to correct.

  13. Carol says:

    Another Pyscho. And every part of this is just WRONG…I can’t get over it either Blink. I don’t know how this judge granted the visitation, however he must be getting sick over this. She probably would of tried to kill even the chaperone had the judge granted supervised visits she is so screwed-up. It’s all just so sad.

  14. Midwest Mom says:


    I just listened to the 911 tape and I am visibly shaken. Janelle stated that her daughter “asked to be saved” and “i can’t handle that” It appears that until that point, she didn’t view her children as people, with emotions, wants, dreams…

    Many a book has been written on raising children, discipline, nutrition safety, however there is a disconnect between child and parent that gets more evident everyday with the news of parents harming their children.

    I believe this 911 call can be a valuable tool in some way. Jail and prison does not seem to be a deterrent. This tape shows how calculated and planned Janelle was in her thought process of killing her children, yet a few words, made her change her mind and realize her decision was wrong. A decision that can never be corrected and took another young angels life and caused not only physical scars on Kierstan but emotional scares that may never heal.

    I don’t know..maybe making mothers on probation, half way houses,single pregnant mothers non-profits and shelters listen to this tape maybe that would make a difference. I know that I will never forget.

    We live in a fast paced world, filled with time restrains, stress, and commitments that need to be filled, we need to stop and reconnect.

    Tonight I am going to sit criss-cross in front of my children holding their hands and without speaking. Look in their eyes for a minute and “be with” them. See their beautiful souls and just connect.

    I did this once in a workshop I was In. It was with another adult in the class. 5 min looking in another persons eyes without speaking, “connecting non verbally” was awkward and uncomfortable. I don’t want it to be that way with my children…

    Rest in Peace Kelsey
    Kierstan you will always be in my prayers

    MW you hit my bullseye :)

    I wish I had any kind of words at all to make sense of this, and to teach the moral.

    For me, I wrote this piece, knowing there would be very little media or readership interest, because I wanted to show what can happen in a situation where an unstable woman was awarded unsupervised visitation, and it is inexcusable.

    This case is going to take me a while until my anger assuages. What these babies went through is unspeakable, and not even so much as a review of that judge.


  15. Midwest Mom says:

    I agree! this was not about a messy divorce. The judge was not dealing with a “he said” “she said” situation. Even if the judge discarded the fathers fears. This woman was documented unstable and was in a mental health facility. Unsupervised visits should not have even been considered.

  16. Mrs C Hop says:

    I know ..i’ll never ever get that 911 call out of brain now …but Midwest i so HOPE you are right and there is something in there that can be useful in understanding and preventing situations like this ..but thats only if they are brought to the forefront of peoples attention (thanks B) The judge’s decision NEEDS to be reviewed EVERY decision of this judge should now be reviewed!! How do you go from mental instutution to stable parent??? UH YOU DONT!! The problem is these judges dont give a shit cuz its not their problem its not their family WELL make them care, if he had any balls hed step down on that one.

    Debra Jeter’s (or the devil whichever you prefer) premedition, level of clarity, and calmness are very scary. These people look like us but they are not like us, we need to get rid of them…

  17. Concerned Mom says:

    How anyone, but especially a mother, could do that to two little girls is inconprehensible to me.

    I fully believe that whoever allowed this to occur by letting her be alone with her daughters, should be prosecuted. If a judge chooses to hand out light sentences or no sentence at all, I feel they should be fully responsible for any crime committed by the psycho they allowed to roam free.

  18. Kim says:

    This story is so very tragic-I have no words except HEARTBREAKING

  19. Mom3.0 says:

    I was flipping thru channels last night and unfortunately stopped while NG was playing an excerpt of the 911 calls-(I still can not bring myself to listen to the whole thing) but- MY God, this woman was completely demented and devoid of emotion. “I just killed my kids.”

    Said with no emotion then, to calmly tell her daughter, just wait their on their way- But then to get suddenly poed when the operator asks for her name- She screams I’m not gonna tell you that, B*#@ !

    So very sad, and I pray that Kiersten gets the help she will need… She is still alive , right?

    To think that poor little Kelsey was trying to protect her little sister, My goodness, what a brave little girl. May she RIP

  20. helen says:

    I met Kiersten at a football game this past year, she was hanging out with my daughter. I couldn’t believe that she was at the football game cause the incident all took place 6 mnths prior…She was able to talk to my daughter about what happened and even came and talked to me…she said that they were going after the death penalty and that she would also testify if it came to that…I could not believe how brave this young lady was and is…she is doing very well though…

  21. A Texas Grandfather says:

    I agree with you completely. Our family courts in Texas and the rest of the nation (look at what happened in the Mayrland court where the father begged the court to not let his son be taken to Utah with is hateful mother) need a complete overhaul.
    The people of Hill County and Hillsboro, where the county courthouse is located, need to go to this court and demand that the judge be removed for malfeseance of his duty to the children.
    Fathers are rarely given as much consideration as mothers in family courts regardless of what the law says. This is a predicated on the fact that in times past mothers were the primary care givers to children and fathers were considered the breadwinner. The people have to change this by doing court watches letting the judge know that he is constantly under scrutiny by the people of his jurisdition.
    Any mother that does not have primary custody of her children should NEVER be allowed to have the children alone. They should always be supervised by more than one adult.

  22. LindaNewYork says:

    OMG. This is horrible. Just horrible.

  23. K.B. says:

    I just can’t imagine. Listening to this 911 tape the pure horror this poor child went through.I don’t see how this woman could have done such a thing…Then how she says one’s already dead hurry up.She wants to be saved.This whole thing is beyond my comprehension.She doesn’t even say I want her saved it’s she wants to be saved.Does anyone know any of the details that led up to this.What caused her mother to do what she did or was this just a cold calculated planned out event that she did to get back at her ex?These family court judges ought to be held liable considering she had just tried to kill herself 3 weeks earlier.No one could have been cured of whatever was going on in her mind in 3 week’s time.That this was also done in front of her children.She should have never been allowed unsupervised visits with these children.It seems as though a lot of these judges just want to hurry and rule on these cases just to get them over with.Instead of insisting on reports from doctors and extreme therapy first.The children are always the ones who end up paying the price.meanwhile, this judges restraining order was a bit to little to late

  24. In Memory of Gini says:

    This is beyond tragic. I don’t understand how a mother can do this to her children. I feel for these girls father. Not being able to protect his children will forever haunt him.

    I can’t imagine DJJ has a soul. She deserves nothing less than anguish forever for what she has done to her daughters.

    God Bless Kiersten. May he give her true love and support to process this horrible betrayal of a mothers love.

  25. melissab says:

    K.B. I watched Nancy G. when she profiled this story and the Father was on. He stated that he had seen the egg donor/hatcher in jail and she did this only in spite of him. She was mad because he was divorcing her. He said the surviving daughter was doing great and had seen “that woman” also. Dad said she always been a really good Mom and very protective of the girls and had no reason to believe she would harm them. It was also reported on the show that she picked them up and drove to the abandoned house did the deed and called 911. This all happened right after she picked them up. Purely premeditated. I think she did not get the death penalty because the daughter for some reason didn’t want it and to testify so she took a plea. I know this little girl is okay right now but this will creep up on her later. I hope someone in that family is smart enough to realize it when it does happen. They should’ve done this child a favor and rid her of any connection to this woman by using the death pealty.

  26. Diann says:

    Why did anyone allow these kids in her care. Visitation my butt. She is a sick & possessed person trying to get her husband’s attention. These poor girls never had a chance. If it had not happened that day then they probably would have been exposed to Lord know what. Prayers for the surviving family members. May God rest the dead little girls soul.

  27. Diann says:

    I hurt so bad for these girls and what they went through. It makes me so weak to think of it. What has this world come to? Jesus, son of God, I pray for these people who are so sick & evil. I pray for this family. I pray this girl gets through life without it haunting her terribly. If dad thought she was vindictive or could be to get back at him, he should not have let her pick them up!!!! I know he didn’t kill them but we have to protect our children however we can.

  28. chelsea says:

    Janelle went to school with me. She was at the top of every pre-req class we had for nursing. We always wanted her in our study groups because she knew everything. She came in, sat in the back of the class room with her starbucks every morning. She participated in conversation. She told jokes, listened to us, gossiped…told us about her daughters. We all looked up to her for her intelligence. She got accepted into the same nursing program I was in, but turned it down because she wanted to go for her rn…which we all understood, because she could make it, no problem. She was in my phone as “nellybean.” Until, the day after she murdered her daughter and attempted murder on the other, we had no idea anything was going on except the divorce. I can’t imagine what ugliness was inside her that we never knew about. It also makes you think, who else is capable of such horrendous things? As far as janelle being incompetent? I can personally say, she is the most competent if not disturbed women I know and diserves much more than what she got. When she spoke of her babies, her eyes lit up, and hearing that tape is …..there are no words.

  29. Moore says:

    I just need to say this. You talk about my sister like she is not a person. Yes, she had mental problems. The only thing we knew that was wrong with her were the suicidal tendencies. She loved (loves) both her children. She made a mistake and she is paying for it. Kiersten see her, they have a good relationship. The media doesn’t even tell half the story. Lee I’d just as guilty. He was the one sleeping around with another woman every night. Please, don’t call my sister a “devil woman.” Would you like it if people said that about your family?

    Ma’am, there is no such thing as “paying for” what she did- and if you or others knew she had suicidal tendencies why didn’t someone intervene? I can promise you it is standard procedure if someone has suicidal ideations to PRESUME it can escalate or de-escalate ( depending on the impetus) into homicide. That is fact.

  30. Moore says:

    Also, Debra had been taking medicine. Three days before this happened, the father, refused to give it to her.

  31. Hello says:

    Umm… if your sister was on medication and her husband was estranged then why would he have her meds? That’s ridiculous!! And if he knew his wife was crazy, and somehow he was in charge of her meds, why wouldn’t he give her the meds she needs to be a mother to her children. I smell bullshit Moore!!

  32. Hello says:

    And… psychiatric medications take more than a few days to work…the fastest you notice a result is in about a month… so either way that’s just bullshit 4 days of medicine isn’t going to make her magically a better person…

  33. James says:

    Judge Harris should be in jail. Janelle should have been treated for mental illness until deemed mentally fit and allowed to reintegrate back into society.

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