Text messages from retired teacher killed in senior center show motive

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Text messages from retired teacher killed in senior center show motive
Text messages read in court show Carol Webber's cry for help before being shot and killed at Treemont Senior Living, allegedly by Clifton John Allen.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 74-year-old retired teacher who was murdered in a senior living center helped detectives solve her murder through her own text messages.

Carol Webber was found shot in her apartment at Treemont Senior Living on April 13.

The suspect, 66-year-old Clifton John Allen, is charged with murder and is behind bars on a $350,000 bond.

Records reveal he also lived at the Treemont and worked at a bookstore there. In court, it was said that Allen convinced Webber to transfer over her will and power of attorney to him.

ABC13 obtained those chilling messages showing Webber's cries for help.

"I am trying to end my relationship with Cliff and he will not bring me my power of attorney, my will, and my insurance. I need prayer for this. Thanks," the text read.

In court, officials said Webber confided in people leading up to her death, expressing concerns that Allen was becoming aggressive and threatened to kill her.

ABC13 spoke to the two women who Webber confided in. They wished to stay anonymous out of fear for their safety.

"We know the true story, and we want to get it out there," one of the women said.

According to the women, they were ministering to Webber and providing her prayer and support.

"Carol was a very vulnerable person. She suffered a lot of tragedies and hard things in her life," one of the women said. "She was older, in her 70s, living alone and didn't have anybody, and when she came to the Treemont, I believe this person targeted her. She started handing things to him because he was her only support."

Officials said she was in fear for her life because he threatened to kill her and was becoming aggressive.

"It had been building up over the week, her anxiety over Cliff," she said. "She was complaining over his controlling nature. He wouldn't let her go to church. We encouraged her to revoke the power of attorney, and so she actually confronted him sometime the week before she was killed and asked for her papers back."

Webber texted the women hours before her murder, saying, "Cliff was drunk and came into my apartment and threatened to kill me and was forceful and mean, took my money and credit cards and because I went to church. He told the man downstairs that he had power of attorney and had the right to tell me what church I could go to and I asked for a room to sleep in because he had a key to my room."

Records reveal Allen has a lengthy violent rap sheet of felony arrests, including a manslaughter conviction, and was out on parole in Louisiana.

"Why on earth would they allow him to lease an apartment next to some of the most vulnerable residents of our community?" one of the women asked.

Police arrested Allen two weeks after the murder, leaving him to stay in his apartment at the Treemont, among residents who were never notified of the murder by management.

"My primary concern is how the elderly get swept away, and people don't provide or pay attention to them," one of the women said.

ABC13 has been reaching out to Treemont for a response and was previously told they have no comment.

If you need help getting out of a domestic violence situation, call the Houston Area Women's Center 24/7 hotline at 713-528-2121 or call AVDA at 713-224-9911. You can also click here to chat with an advocate online. If you are deaf or hard of hearing and need help, call 713-528-3625.

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