Affidavit: Belton mother was fatally stabbed by son; body found in home’s crawlspace

Jasper James
Jasper James(Bell County Jail)
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 1:10 PM CST
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - The body of slain Belton mother, Jennifer James, riddled with stab wounds to her face and neck, was found in the crawlspace under her home after her son told police officers conducting a welfare check that she was not home at the time, an affidavit for arrest obtained by KWTX reveals.

The Belton Police Department on Friday announced Jasper L. James, 19, is charged in the murder of his mother.

According to the arrest affidavit, Police officers arrived at the 47-year-old Jennifer James’ home at around 1 p.m. on Dec. 1 after Kayla James, the victim’s niece, received a phone call from her aunt’s employer about the victim not showing up for work.

Jasper James was at the home when police arrived and told officers his mother was not in the residence and that he had not seen her since the morning before. While speaking to Jasper, the police officers noticed “scratches on the suspect’s face that appeared fresh,” the affidavit states.

While Jasper James did not allow police to enter the home, the document states, he did allow his cousin, Kayla, to enter and verify that Jennifer was not home, the affidavit states. While inside the residence, Kayla James noticed the couch was missing from the living room and was Jasper reportedly told her the couch was in the garage.

“Kayla looked in the garage and reported to officers that she observed what appeared to be blood on the couch,” the affidavit states.

Officers at the scene learned Jennifer James’ keys and wallet were in the house and her car was still in the driveway.

“Officers searched the property to determine if Jennifer was still located on the property and in need of medical assistance,” the court document states.

Authorities then discovered her body in the crawl space under the house after removing an access panel while searching the property. They then obtained a search warrant after positively identifying the body as that of Jennifer James.

“Jennifer had many apparent stab wound to her face and neck that appeared inconsistent with human life,” the affidavit states.

With the search warrant, officers found blood on the floor and in the wall of the living room as well as large amounts of blood on the living room floor, walls and furniture that had been cleaned using using a Bluestar Forensic spray, the affidavit reveals.

According to a neighbor, they had seen Jasper the day before moving the couch into the garage and the man “appeared agitated and angry and had bleeding scratches on his face.”

Kayla James, the court document further alleges, told police that “there had been violence and threats by the suspect (Jasper) toward Jennifer in the past and the police had been called.”

The suspect is being held at the Bell County Jail on a $1,500,000 bond.