Ex-housekeeper's son charged in woman's murder after mom said killer should be stabbed

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Hedwig Village murder suspect taken to Harris County jail, Tracy Clemons reports.

The son of a former housekeeper has been charged in the brutal murder of a 79-year-old Hedwig Village woman.

Officials said Michael Susberry has been charged in Janeil Hooten Bernard's murder. Late Tuesday, Susberry arrived at the Harris County Jail in downtown Houston. In video you can only see on Eyewitness News, Susberry had to be helped out of a police vehicle with a walker in front of him.
EXCLUSIVE: Hedwig Village murder suspect arrives at county jail

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EXCLUSIVE: Hedwig Village murder suspect arrives at jail


According to Hedwig Village Police Chief David Gott, Susberry admitted to headbutting Bernard before stabbing her with a knife sometime around July 3. Police also say video evidence places Susberry near Bernard's home on the day of her killing.

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Mother of suspect talked about victim before arrest, Jessica Willey reports.



Gott said Susberry was familiar with the victim's home after picking up his mother's checks for her.

Police also said Susberry was worried the crime would hurt his mother most of all, who spoke with Eyewitness News on July 5 about her former relationship with Bernard.

The suspect's mother described taking trips with her former employer, who even purchased her a car - a little yellow Subaru.

Housekeeper: Murder victim 'took care of me and I took care of her'
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The housekeeper of a Hedwig Village murder victim described her late boss as the kindest person she'd ever met.


She also talked about her idea of justice for Bernard's killer.

"I hope they catch whoever did it and stab them, but before they die, before they send them to the pen or whatever, they need to be sent to the back of the pen by they self for life with no parole. That's what need to happen," said the 89-year-old on July 5. "Or let me get ahold of 'em and I fix 'em."

Certainly, she never thought she would be talking about her own son. Tuesday, she told Eyewitness News she doesn't believe her son is the killer.

VIDEO: Police believe woman found murdered in Hedwig Village was beaten and stabbed


"It is my recommendation that the state of Texas seek the death penalty in this case," Gott said.

Bernard was found dead inside her home on Capri Street by her housekeeper on July 3.

Her wallet and her 2011 red Cadillac sedan were missing, but the vehicle was later found.

Police previously said there was no forced entry to the home, so they believed Bernard knew her attacker.

Susberry was booked into the Harris County jail late Tuesday.

After the arrest, Bernard's family issued a statement:

"We are so thankful for the professional collaboration between the HPD and the Hedwig Village Police. Their exhaustive work has brought an end to this savage criminal case. While there is nothing that will bring our mother back, knowing this killer is off the streets brings us some peace of mind. We look forward to justice being served."

TIMELINE OF EVENTS:
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Timeline of the murder in Hedwig Village


On July 3, 2017, Janeil Hooten Bernard was found beaten and stabbed to death inside her home in Hedwig Village, Texas, west of Houston.

More than a week after her slaying, someone evidently close to her was charged for her murder.
Here are the key events in the murder case of the 79-year-old.

July 2, 2017


Janeil Hooten Bernard speaks on the phone with her son, marking her last documented contact with anyone while she was alive.

July 3, 2017


A housekeeper finds Bernard's body in her home. She was beaten and stabbed. Police found no signs of forced entry.

Later that day, Bernard's Cadillac, which went missing from her home, is found in southeast Houston.

VIDEO: Police believe woman found murdered in Hedwig Village was beaten and stabbed

July 5, 2017


Bernard's former housekeeper of 57 years, Moteel Susberry, speaks to ABC13.
The 91-year-old recalled her former employer's generosity.

"She took care of me and I took care of her," she said. "She was as sweet as she could be. She wouldn't harm a fly."

When asked what should happen to her friend's killer, Susberry said, "They need to be sent to the back of the pen by themselves for life with no parole...Or let me get a hold of them and I'll fix them."

Housekeeper: Murder victim 'took care of me and I took care of her'
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The housekeeper of a Hedwig Village murder victim described her late boss as the kindest person she'd ever met.

July 11, 2017


Authorities announce the arrest of Moteel Susberry's son, Michael. Detectives say he admitted to headbutting Bernard before stabbing her.

Police add Michael Susberry admitted to detectives his role in the woman's death. They also placed the suspect near her home on the day of the killing.

After Michael Susberry's arrest, his mother said she doesn't believe her son is the killer.

Related Topics:
newsmurderhomicide investigationhomicideTexas
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