Teenage Daughters Plot To Kill Parents

Published: Mar. 11, 2008 at 7:05 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 11, 2008 at 9:13 PM CDT
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Many of you have emailed us since the Rains County story first aired, noticing the many similarities to another East Texas story. It was Christmas Day of 1999 when 17 year old Stephanie Barron and her boyfriend killed Stephanie's parents.

KLTV 7 spoke to longtime Smith County Sheriff about that incident, which prompted him to write a book about the course of events, and what perpetrators were thinking.

From Rains County to Smith County...the scene eerily familiar.

Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith says the murders of Steven and Carla Barron Christmas morning prompted him to write this book.

"I have worked 170 murder cases," said Smith.

Authorities were called to a quiet neighborhood in Chapel Hill.

"All the sudden, she turned and no one really knew why. Being a straight "A" student, extremely attractive, and then turning to just mean."

He's talking about the Barron's 17 year old daughter Stephanie, who first claimed there it was an intruder who murdered her parents, but later plead guilty to the crime.

"No sign of any break in, no theft, no motive for the slaying," said Smith.

Smith says Stephanie thought about it and planned it - a plan that Smith says normal people just can't understand.

"What's fascinating is the mind of these criminals, or the lack thereof because they just don't think like common people," said Smith, "Psychopaths very seldom do. They make excuses for what they want. In her case she saw something she wanted: the insurance money and her boyfriend and her parents were the only thing standing in her way."

We then talked to an East Texas professional counselor, Dr. Wade French, who has spent years studying the minds of criminals.

"The parents are seen as an obstacle to the daughter being able to maintain a relationship with a male that they desire to have in their life," said French.

French says from that desire they formulate a plan, a plan that usually doesn't include running away together because, he says, they typically don't have money or anywhere to go.

"They believe that what they want justifies what they do," said French, "Desperate people do very desperate things."

"These people never think about being caught, never enters their mind," said Smith.

Smith and French both say the young girls are usually the mastermind behind these horrific crimes. They bring others into it, usually disconnected teenagers, and they say parents can learn something from that.

"The relationship you have with your children is the main tool you have to work with in parenting them," said French.

"Stay involved. Know what they are doing, know who their friends are, know what they are doing on the Internet. And chat rooms, communication with other kids," said Smith, "Get involved and stay involved. If you don't pay attention to that you are going to be paying in other ways."

Smith says although Barron pled guilty to her parent's murders, to this day she has not confessed.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.