Where is Debra Jeter now? We break down the crimes committed by Debra Jeter and what drove her to murder her daughter Kelsey Jeter and the attempted murder of Kiersten Jeter.
A mother’s first duty is often seen as protecting their children, making sure that they are safe from threats. So when a mother fails to do this, and is the reason why her children come to harm, it causes immense shock, not just to the surrounding community. It often captures national and even international attention.
This is the case with Debra Jeter, the mother who killed one of her daughters, Kelsey, and attempted to kill her other daughter, Kiersten.
It’s a striking event and one that has caused tragedy in people’s lives.
Who is Debra Jeter, and what did she do?
Debra Jeter was a mother of two daughters, Kiersten and Kelsey Jeter. She was married to Lester Jeter. Debra’s full name is Debra Janelle Jeter, and she was born in the late 1970s in the USA.
In 2009, Lester filed for divorce from Debra and temporarily gained custody of the two kids. A court removed this order though, allowing Debra to see her children without supervision.
Later that year, on June 5, Debra took both Kiersten and Kelsey on a prearranged visit. She led the girls to an abandoned house in rural Texas, where she stabbed and killed the 12-year-old Kelsey and stabbed Kiersten, attempting to kill her.
Kiersten managed to survive the attack and was sent to the hospital, where her life was saved.
Where is Debra Jeter Now?
Debra Jeter surrendered herself to the authorities after she killed Kelsey and tried to kill Kiersten. During the 911 call, she admitted to her actions and said, “I just killed my children.” She also requested support for Kiersten, who was in desperate need of medical attention. “One of them is still alive, and she needs help.”
The court set Debra a bond of $1.5 million, which reflected the severity of the crimes she’d committed and the impact that they had on the community.
During the court trial, Debra accepted a plea deal, which meant she would be sentenced to life in prison without parole in Gatesville prison in Texas. By doing this, Debra avoided the death penalty, which prosecutors might have pursued due to the severity of the crimes.
She was allowed to meet with Lester and her surviving daughter before she was transferred.
Debra Jeter is still in prison today.
Why did Debra Jeter kill her daughter?
It’s unclear why Debra Jeter killed Kelsey and attempted to kill Kiersten, but her history of mental health problems likely played a part in the outcome.
In 2004, she was admitted to a mental health facility after she allegedly abused Kiersten.
This mental deterioration caused Lester Jeter to file for divorce and take out a temporary restraining order against Debra, meaning that Lester got temporary custody of the children. The order was granted, but a judge lifted it soon after.
These events likely factored into the horrifying crime.