Kelli Underwood’s daughter, Kayden Graham, was concerned when she could not reach her mother over the phone for three days. However, once she decided to check in on her, she was terrified to find the 46-year-old lying dead on the floor while bleeding from her head. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Mean Girl Murders: Desperate Texas Housewives’ chronicles the gruesome murder and follows the investigation that brought the perpetrators to justice. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the crime and find out more, shall we?
How Did Kelli Underwood Die?
A resident of Princeton, Texas, Kelli Underwood was 46 at the time of her death. Although she was a doting mother of three and shared an incredible bond with her children, her daughter, Kayden, had moved out shortly before the tragedy. When looking into Kelli’s life, the police noticed that she had been unlucky in love previously. However, in the days leading up to her death, she had been in an off-again-on-again relationship with her best friend, Tiffany Welborn’s ex-husband.
Nevertheless, people who knew Kelli described her as a helpful and kindhearted individual who never hesitated to help others and was well-respected in the community. Besides, she worked at a local metal fabrication business and lived independently. Since Kayden lived near Kelli, she cared for her mother and closely monitored her well-being. Thus, she was concerned and anxious when the latter appeared unreachable over the phone for a few days.
Ultimately, Kayden decided to visit her mother, and on September 20, 2017, she went to Kelli’s house. Surprisingly, the front door to the building was unlocked, and she found her lying unconscious in a second-floor room. The 46-year-old was bleeding profusely from her head, and Kayden later claimed that her mother’s body appeared ice-cold to the touch. Hence, without wasting any time, she ran outside and called 911 for help.
Kelli was long gone when first responders arrived on the scene, and they immediately declared her dead. Furthermore, the police determined that the 46-year-old had been killed between the night of September 16 and the morning of September 17. Even though the body had been lying inside the house for about three days, an initial medical examination noticed multiple stab and gunshot wounds all over the victim’s body. An autopsy later confirmed that Kelli Underwood was shot and stabbed to death, and the police knew they had a homicide investigation on their hands.
Who Killed Kelli Underwood?
When investigating Kelli’s murder, the police learned that the doctors had operated on her brain tumor back in 2001, following which she battled depression and partial paralysis. Luckily, her high school best friend, Tiffany Welborn, soon came to her aid and asked her to move in with her and her husband, Ronnie Welborn, in Princeton, Texas. Naturally, Kelli and her daughter, Kayden, were grateful to Tiffany for allowing them a fresh start, yet things soon turned dark.
Since Kelli worked at Ronnie’s metal fabrication business, the two had a close friendship, which became an affair. Tiffany initially tried to ignore the signs but eventually decided to serve her then-husband with divorce papers. This made it easier for Kelli to proceed with her romance, and she continued living with Ronnie even after Tiffany moved away. Incidentally, she and Ronnie had an off-again-on-again relationship, which the latter wasn’t satisfied with.
Around this time, Ronnie also met a younger woman named Kadie Robinson, and the two soon embarked on a whirlwind romance. Interestingly, within a few months, she was pregnant with his baby, and the two looked forward to starting a life together. Yet, Kadie was highly jealous of Kelli and hated that she was still friends with Ronnie. In fact, the police believed that jealousy was motive enough for murder, but nothing tied her and Ronnie to the 46-year-old’s homicide.
That was when law enforcement officials interviewed several of Kelli’s neighbors and learned that Robert Veal and Delvin Powell were the last to see the victim alive. But when questioned, the duo claimed they were doing maintenance work at Kelli’s house, and the 46-year-old was still alive when they left. Albeit, when Robert and Delvin’s DNA matched the samples collected from the crime scene, the police confiscated the former’s cell phone and learned that he was in constant contact with Kadie.
Such a discovery made authorities bring Kadie in for a second round of questioning, and this time, she confessed that Ronnie had paid Robert and Delvin around $8000 in cash to kill Kelli Underwood. Regardless, she insisted that she knew nothing about the murder and was not involved in the planning. Still, Kadie’s phone records soon proved that she was equally involved in the sinister plot, and law enforcement officers arrested all four suspects before charging them with murder.
Where Are Robert Veal and Delvin Powell Now?
When presented in court, Robert and Delvin pled not guilty and insisted on their innocence. Yet, they were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole in 2020. Meanwhile, Ronnie Welborn and Kadie Robinson pled guilty to murder. The former was sentenced to life in prison, and the latter was handed a 30-year jail sentence. Nonetheless, with parole out of the picture, Robert Veal is currently incarcerated at the O. B. Ellis Unit in unincorporated Walker County, Texas, while Delvin Powell is spending his days behind bars at the Jim Ferguson Unit in unincorporated Madison County, Texas.