Texas Mayor Who Killed Self Faced Financial Difficulties - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Texas Mayor Who Killed Self Faced Financial Difficulties



    Texas Mayor Who Killed Self Faced Financial Difficulties
    City of Coppell/Facebook
    Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters and her daughter were found dead in their home Tuesday night

    Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters was being questioned about possible misuse of a city credit card before she was found dead in her home, the city manager said Friday.

    Coppell officials held a press conference Friday afternoon to talk about the investigation of the deaths of Peters and her 19-year-old daughter Corinne.

    Police discovered the women shot to death at the mayor's home after Jayne Peters missed a City Council meeting Tuesday night.

    "She didn’t give us any idea that money was an issue," said acting Mayor Bob Mahalik. "The first questions we've had from everyone else: 'Did you see something? Should you have seen something?' They're the same questions we're asking ourselves."

    Coppell Mayor Faced Review of City Credit Card

    [DFW] Coppell Mayor Faced Review of City Credit Card
    Mayor Jayne Peters was being questioned about possible misuse of a city credit card before she was found dead in her home, the city manager says.
    (Published Saturday, July 17, 2010)

    But City Manager Clay Phillips said he had been asking Peters since November for receipts to explain questionable use of her city credit card.

    Records released by the city Friday show $5,841 in training and travel account spending by Peters in the past three months. Along with out-of-town charges are what appear to be personal expenses at stores such as Hollister, Anthropologie, Kroger and PetSmart.

    Phillips said a $1,600 charge at an Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Lewisville was apparently not for city business.

    "Some of them most likely are very much legitimate city expenses, but I don't have a receipt," he said. "Some of them I believe are most likely not. That's why I asked the city attorney to look into this matter further."

    Funeral services were held for Peters and her daughter Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Coppell.

    Public officials who worked with Peters attended the service along with family and friends of the victims.

    "She just graduated with us," said Darci Kincaid, who attended Coppell High School with Corinne Peters. "You don't expect to have somebody you sat in class with a few weeks before."

    The pastor told mourners that Jayne Peters had been receiving financial assistance from the church since the death of her husband two years ago.

    Public records show her home had briefly been listed for foreclosure and homeowners association dues had gone unpaid in the past.

    At the Friday press conference, police released the contents of the four notes found in the home when the bodies were discovered Tuesday.

    A note on the front door told first responders, "I am so very sorry for what you're about to discover. Please forgive me."

    Another note with the mayor's signature found closest to her body said not to resuscitate "under any circumstances."

    Deputy Police Chief Steve Thomas said Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke apparently loaned Jayne Peters a Glock 17 handgun that was found in her home. Franke had served with her on the Regional Planning Council.

    Thomas said Franke contacted Coppell police after he heard about Peters’ death and told them that she asked to borrow the gun for a handgun license class she planned to attend.

    Thomas said the two mayors visited a firing range in Duncanville on July 8 to use the weapon before Franke loaned it to Peters.

    "He was very quick to call," Thomas said of Franke's conversation with police.

    Contrary to statements Corinne Peters had made to friends, the Coppell High School graduate had not been accepted to attend the University of Texas this fall, Thomas said.

    That surprised neighbor Kathleen Roberts, who rode the bus to school with Corinne Peters for five years.

    "It's really confusing; you don’t know what happened," she said. "I just remember her being really nice and like happy all the time and stuff. She didn’t look like she'd be any depressed or anything like that."

    Thomas said antidepressant medication was found in the house. But he said there is no evidence so far that Corinne Peters was a participant in her death.

    In fact, he said neighbors saw her loading belongings in a car outside the house the day she died as though she was planning to go on a trip, only to see the mother unload the car a short time later.

    Thomas said Coppell police have not reached any conclusions about the case and the investigation will take time.

    "We have a responsibility to exhaust all investigative leads before we make a definitive decision on what offense, if any, we have," he said.