Texas Mayor’s Murder/Suicide Hits Close to Home

On Tuesday, the Coppell Texas city council meeting was missing its mayor. It’s not clear who called the police, but at least one person viewed Mayor Jayne Peters’ absence with alarm. When the local police arrived at Mayor Peters’ address, a two-story home in the 700 block of Greenway Drive, they found a typed note on Peters’ door. The missive warned the officers that they would “not like the scene that they would find inside.” The envelope contained a key to the house. Peters was right.

Entering the suburban home, officers found two victims. Nineteen-year-old Corinne Peters lay in a pool of blood on the first floor. Her mother Jayne’s lifeless body was on the second. Both had died from massive gunshot wounds to the head.

Police found three additional notes, two typed and one handwritten. Police say those communications told their readers how to manage the Peters’ “affairs,” and gave instructions on the care and feeding of their dogs.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the deaths a murder/suicide. Coppell Police weren’t ready to put the case to bed. On Thursday, they said the case is “far from closed.” They’re investigating every aspect of the women’s lives.

Speaking to the media throngs, some of Mayor Peters’ fellow municipal co-workers claimed they had no warning of her descent into madness. They say Peters was a reliable, hard-working civil servant.

Meanwhile, the police investigation has focused on Mayor Peters’ finances. Dallasnews.com:

Hours before Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters and her 19-year-old daughter Corinne were found fatally shot in their home, City Manager Clay Phillips asked the city attorney to investigate Peters’ use of her city-issued credit card.

Phillips said late Thursday that he tried unsuccessfully for months to get receipts from the mayor that would corroborate the legitimacy of several charges. Phillips said the late mayor always politely said she intended to provide the receipts but never followed through.

Phillips said he told Peters that he would have to bring others’ attention to the matter if she didn’t provide receipts. Phillips didn’t have an estimate for the collective value of the charges Thursday night. He said that they date back to October and that most City Council members turn their receipts in each month.

The paper reports that Mayor Peters’ house was in foreclosure since last July. Back in 1998, ten years before Jayne’s husband died of cancer, the couple had taken a $283,500 mortgage loan against their two-story suburban home.

Peters’ money troubles coincided with her strained relationship with her daughter. Not to mention Corinne Peters secret double life. Although Corinne told her friends that she was headed for the University of Texas in the fall, all was not what it seemed . . .

Friends said she had been wearing UT shirts all week and was planning to attend an orientation session at the university Wednesday. AfterThe Dallas Morning News reported those statements, a spokesman for the university contacted the paper.

The spokesman said there is no record of anyone named Corinne Peters applying to attend the school this fall. He said she did not appear to be enrolled or scheduled to attend orientation this summer

So both Peters women were living a lie. Did Jayne know that her daughter wasn’t headed for UT as she’d told all her friends? Did Corinne know that her mother was in danger of losing the family home and her job? If Corinne had fooled her mother into believing she was heading for UT, did the Mayor think she was on the hook for college tuition, as well?

The murder/suicide occurred not ten minutes from this writer’s computer. Expect more information on this case, including a little digging into the origin of the Glock 19 that delivered the fatal bullets that killed a widower and her teenage daughter one hot summer’s day in July.

comments

  1. avatar Jacie Westmore says:

    There is nothing so great about U.T. Austin, that someone would become suicidally depressed over not attending this school. In my opinion, that is. But many Texans spend THOUSANDS of dollars making sure their kids have the right "clothes" for Rush Week, so they can get into the right sorority/fraternity, and get degrees from the right Texas schools. These are things that influence their future careers, as it goes on their permanent resumes. The pressure regarding college is enormous these days. Tuition fees alone are only half the picture.

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