Family of murdered Hedwig Village woman 'relieved killer is off the streets'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- 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

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."

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 said video evidence placed 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.

Neighbors in Hedwig Village who knew Bernard said they are grateful police arrested Susberry.

Harvey Fodell said Michael's mother, Bernard's long-time housekeeper, attended her funeral.

"The irony of the thing is she was at service for Mrs. Bernard, she was very much grieving over it," Fodell said. "Little did she know at the time, her son had committed this thing."

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.

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

Susberry was booked into the Harris County jail late Tuesday. He has been charged with capital murder.

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