Former housekeeper's son charged in Hedwig Village woman's murder

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

EMBED More News Videos

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.



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'

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."


Report a typo to the ABC13 staff


Related Topics:
murderhomicide investigationhomicideHouston
(Copyright ©2017 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)